Norris E. Hartwell Jr.

(January 10, 1921 - October 6, 2005)

The Lusk Herald
October 26, 2005

Norris E. Hartwell Jr.

Norris E. Hartwell Jr. was born in Lusk on Jan. 10, 1921. He graduated from Lusk High School in 1939, and he was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He attended the University of Wyoming, and he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He received a mechanical engineering degree. He was a pilot, operations officer and Photo Reconnaissance Group commander. Norris flew P-38's and spitfires in Europe during World War II. He was the first photoreconnaissance pilot over Normandy at the D-day invasion. He was later shot down over France and taken prisoner of war by the Germans. He escaped prior to the end of the war and made his way across France to allied lines.

Norris was married in 1947 to Ruth Davis and has two daughters, Jane Webb and Beth Hartwell. He also has granddaughters, Jill Sabella and Rebecca Power, grandson, Leland Webb and three great-grandchildren.

Norris was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Air Force in 1951 during the Korean War. He served as a pilot and construction engineer, and he attained the rank of Colonel. He was the recipient of many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, French Croix de Guerre. General Charles DeGAulle and many others awarded Norris his medals. He retired from the U.S.A.F. in 1969, at which time he lived in Anchorage, Ala.

Norris became the city of Anchorage Building Official, and Alaska State division of Aviation later employed him as airport facilities design engineer. Norris departed Alaska in 1973, and after considerable traveling in the U.S. and Europe, Norris settled in Phoenix, Ariz. in 1974.

Norris' hobbies included hunting, fishing, Model A. Ford club activities, home building and improvements and other handyman pursuits. Norris was widowed in 1997, and he married Elaine Kieffer in 2001, a classmate from first grade through 12th grade. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Boy Scouts of America.

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