American Patriotic 10

Colonel William Hervey Norris, USAF

January 31, 1922 ~ November 6, 2020 (age 98)


Colonel William Hervey Norris, USAF, Retired, passed away on Friday, November 6, 2020. He was surrounded by family and friends, not only at the end of his life, but throughout his 98 years.

William (Bill) Norris was born on Tuesday, January 31, 1922, in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, the son of James and Mary Norris. After graduating high school in 1939, Bill joined a horse cavalry unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Bill’s National Guard unit mechanized, switching from horses to motorcycles, jeeps and scout cars and merging with air reconnaissance. In 1941, Bill was recruited by the Army Air Corps for Aviation Cadet Training At the age 22, Bill was assigned to pilot B-24s, four-engine, heavy bombers, and attached to the 453rd, flying out of England’s Old Buckenham airfield in England. Bill flew 32 missions in WWII, including two D-Day missions and the Berlin Airlift.

After surviving the war to end all wars, Bill continued flying as a test pilot for the remainder of his 23-year Military career. It was as a test pilot that Bill’s attention to detail and engineering mind became most valuable in the test and evaluation of many of the military aircraft designed by the United States.

In 1944, Bill met and fell in love with Priscilla, she was the love of his life and together they raised four wonderful children, Terry, William, Robert, and Wendy. In his home life, Bill’s creative outlets included playing the organ, guitar, sport shooting, wood and leather work which left the family home filled with music and Bill’s handicrafts.

Bill was dedicated to his faith, family, and country for his entire life and if you ever met him, you would know how important all three were to him. Bill will be loved and missed by so many and he was so thankful for all who cared for him and joined him in his journeys throughout his life.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Lillian and Louise, wife Priscilla and son Billy.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no services are currently planned, a celebration of Bill’s life will be planned and held at a future date. Bill will be interred with his wife at Santa Fe National Cemetery.

If you would like to be invited to attend the upcoming memorial for Col. Bill Norris, please send an email to and the family will ensure you are notified with the date and time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be given to your favorite charity in Col. Bill Norris’ honor. 

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