Category Archives: Veterans

Christmas in War Time

This was originally posted in 2015, but as many American men and women remain in war zones, I offer it again as I do each year at this time. Christmas is such a family time, its easy to forget that … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Christmas, Veterans, Vietnam War, World War Ii | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of the 13 TFS – With Gilligan in China

45 years ago, in October 1973, as a member of the 13th TFS,  I had the opportunity to ferry an F4 from Udorn RTAFB in Thailand to Tainan, Taiwan, China.   The Air Force used a system of central depots … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Little Orphan Annie and the end of the Air War in SEA August 1973

Lest we forget:  F-4 Phantom II—445 total lost in the SEA Air War,  382 in  combat more than any other fixed wing aircraft First combat loss F-4C 64-0685 (45th TFS, 15th TFW) shot down Ta Chan, NW NVN on 20 June 1965.  Final … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Cambodia bombing 1973, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Military history, Norvell Family History, SEA, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Party suits, Patches, and Jewelry — the well dressed Fighter Jock

As soon as I arrived in the 13 TFS I was taken off the base to meet the Maharajah and order my work suits and a party suit. To go to the Maharajahs to be fitted was a rite of … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, F-4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

F4 Graduation Day

45 years ago in April 1973,  I left Luke AFB in Arizona en route to South East Asia.  As I graduated from F4 upgrade training, I was a very different person than when I began it. Actually, I can say … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, Norvell Family History, Thailand, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

When Johnny Comes Marching….

Popular music has often served as a useful mirror of our perception of veterans since the founding of the republic. The Civil War resonated with songs that were meant to support the war effort and the Union. As the success … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Military history, Union Army, US Army, US Army Air Corps, US Navy, Veterans, Vietnam Memorial, Vietnam War, World War Ii | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Speech Given at the First Annual Veterans Dinner at Finger Lakes Community College

Remarks by  Lt Col John E. Norvell (USAF Ret.)  November 10, 2017 President Nye, Dr. Pierce, ladies and gentleman and members of the College community,  thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. As a former history professor I routinely … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, American History, Bolling AFB, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, New York State History, Norvell Family History, Ontario Co, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , | 3 Comments