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Encyclopedia > Thomas R. Norris
Thomas R. Norris
born January 14, 1944
Nickname Tommy, Ratso
Place of birth Jacksonville, Florida
Allegiance United States Navy
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work FBI agent

Thomas R. Norris, USN (Retired) (born 14 January 1944) is a retired a U.S. Navy SEAL awarded the Medal of Honor for his ground rescue of two downed pilots in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam on April 10-April 13, 1972. At the time of the action, Lieutenant Norris was a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team. is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Motto: Where Florida Begins Location in the state of Florida Coordinates: , Country United States State Florida County Duval Government  - Mayor John Peyton (R) Area  - City  885 sq mi (2,264. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... SEALs in from the water. ... The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... April 13 is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Norris was one of three SEALS to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War. [1] Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

Contents

Biography

Thomas Norris was born on January 14, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned an Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a specialty in criminology from the University of Maryland. While at the University of Maryland, in 1965 and 1966, he was the Atlantic Coast Conference ACC wrestling champion. [2] is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Motto: Where Florida Begins Location in the state of Florida Coordinates: , Country United States State Florida County Duval Government  - Mayor John Peyton (R) Area  - City  885 sq mi (2,264. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., in the United States. ...


He joined the Navy with hopes of flying; however, he had problems with his visual acuity and depth perception that disqualified him from becoming a pilot. He then became a Navy SEAL. Norris struggled during BUD/S training, and the instructors seriously discussed washing him out of the course.[3] He graduated from BUD/S Class 45.


In April 1972, Norris and a Navy SEAL team effected the rescue of two downed pilots in enemy territory. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.


Six months later, in October 1972, Norris sustained a near-fatal head wound in action and was rescued by his fellow Navy SEAL, Michael Thornton.[4] As a result of the head injury, Norris was retired from the Navy. To recover from this injury, he spent three years in the hospital and underwent many major surgeries over a six year period. Michael Thornton was born 23 March 1949, in Greenville, S.C. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while participating in a daring operation against enemy forces. ...


Norris received the Medal of Honor from President Gerald R. Ford in a White House ceremony on March 6, 1976. Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the 1976 Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1979, Norris decided to join the FBI and requested a waiver for his disabilities. FBI director William Webster responded, "If you can pass the same test as anybody else applying for this organization, I will waiver your disabilities." In September 1979, Norris passed the test and subsequently served as an FBI agent for 20 years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... William Hedgcock Webster (born March 6, 1924) was the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1978 to 1987 and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1987 to 1991. ...


Tom Norris lost an eye and part of his skull during the operation in which he was rescued by Michael Thornton. Was an original member of the FBI's HRT as an assault team leader.


Medal of Honor citation

Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris
United States Naval Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. During the period 10 to 13 April 1972, Lieutenant Norris completed an unprecedented ground rescue of two downed pilots deep within heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Tri Province. Lieutenant Norris, on the night of 10 April, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory, located one of the downed pilots at daybreak, and returned to the Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 11 April, after a devastating mortar and rocket attack on the small FOB, Lieutenant Norris led a three man team on two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. On the afternoon of the 12th, a Forward Air Controller located the pilot and notified Lieutenant Norris. Dressed in fishermen disguises and using a sampan, Lieutenant Norris and one Vietnamese traveled throughout that night and found the injured pilot at dawn. Covering the pilot with bamboo and vegetation, they began the return journey, successfully evading a North Vietnamese patrol. Approaching the FOB, they came under heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Norris called in an air strike which provided suppression fire and a smoke screen, allowing the rescue party to reach the FOB. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, undaunted courage, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, Lieutenant Norris enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ... A sampan carrying passengers to the outlying islands off the Sai Kung Peninsula in Hong Kong Sampan on the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), China A sampan (舢舨) is a relatively flat bottomed Chinese wooden boat from twelve to fifteen feet long. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. ... A U.S. Army Humvee laying a smoke screen A smoke-screen is a release of smoke in order to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks or ships. ...


Honors and Recognitions

Lt. Thomas R. Norris building
The Naval Special Warfare Group Two in Little Creek, Virginia is located in the Lt. Thomas R. Norris Building.
Books and film
Norris' Medal of Honor actions have been re-told in numerous books and in the feature film Bat*21, which is named for the Air Force code name for the original reconnaissance mission.

Bat 21 DVD cover Bat*21 is a 1988 movie directed by Peter Markle, and adapted from his own book by William Charles Anderson. ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Virtual Polygraph. SEC.
  2. ^ Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Maryland. Retrieved on 2006-07-03.
  3. ^ Couch, D (2001). The Warrior Elite: The forging of SEAL Class 228. ISBN 0-609-60710-3. Referred to in Couch's speech at graduation of BUD/S Class 228. Couch was in BUD/S Class 45 with Norris.
  4. ^ Norris' rescuer, Michael Thornton, received the Medal of Honor for his actions. Thornton was the first person in more than a century to receive that the Medal of Honor for saving the life of another Medal of Honor recipient. Norris and Thornton were able to witness each other's Medal of Honor ceremonies.

For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References


 
 

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