Norman M. Iverson

NORMAN M.IVERSON, born October 19, 1921, St. Paul, Minnesota; graduated White Bear High School, St. Paul suburb. Shortly thereafter entered Air Corps Cadet Training; sent to Texas where he literally had a career as a "second born" Texan, being stationed at San Antonio, classification and preflight, Uvalde, Texas, primary, Waco Army Field basic, and Moore Field Mission, Texas, graduating and commissioned a single engine pilot.

Following graduation P40 training and then the P47 , next to Harding Field, Louisiana, then to Strother Field, Winfield, Kansas, for P47 tactical training with the Second Air Force; while at Strother Field sent for a short training jaunt to Jug gunnery training at Galveston, Texas, and then back to Strother Field and from there transferred to the 508th Fighter Group which was being formed as an overseas replacement unit at Bruning, Nebraska.

The Group next sent to Hawaii, being stationed at Kahuku Army Air Field on the base of Kahuka. After training in Hawaii he was sent with others as a replacement to the 318th Fighter Group stationed at Saipan in the Mariana's; the 318th Fighter Group P47N were transferred to Ie Shima where they flew escort for the big boys who were in B29's, B24's and on occasions the smaller bomber fleets and were also used for skip bombing, dive bombing, strafing and napalm, ground work along the China Coast, Korea, Kyusha and Honshu.

He was awarded the distinguished flying cross, air medal with three oak leaf clusters and others returning to the States. He remained on active duty and in 1946 was sent to Randolph Field as an instructor teaching Chinese Cadets flight training and from there to Tyndil Field, Panama City, Florida, where he went into the Mustang P51H flying. His highest rank was Major of U.S.A.F.R.

Then with the birth of his first son, he decided to retire from the service and returned to civilian life December 20, 1946, went back to school, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Southwestern College, then to Washburn University where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree and has practiced law since 1950 to the present time and has two sons, lawyers, with him in his professional association, known as Iverson & Iverson, P.A.

Upon returning to inactive status he had accumulated approximately 850 flying hours, 20 combat missions and many sorties and, of course, leaving behind him the usual "hairy" experiences of strafing, skip bombing, dive bombing, Japanese air fields, river boats, railroad yards, bridges and oil fields. He remained active with the Air Force Reserves for several years and retired as a Major in the Air Force Reserves.

He had been a life member of the P47 Thunderbolt Association since the early 1960's and is a member of the 318th Fighter Group Association which was formed in 1977. He is married to the former Joline Selan and they have five children, N.M. Jr., Randy, Rodney, Jody and Carol.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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