Norton, John, LTG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GD-Commanding General (Deputy)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1975, Allied Joint Forces Command (JFC)
Service Years
1935 - 1975

US

Lieutenant General



Nine Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Virginia
Virginia
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Norton, John, LTG USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Bayse, VA
Last Address
Bayse, VA

Date of Passing
Dec 06, 2004
 
Location of Interment
West Point Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Allied Forces Central US Army Retired Army Staff Identification Belgian Fourragere

Infantry Shoulder Cord Netherlands Orange Lanyard US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

French Fourragere


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of Saint Maurice Order of Saint Michael (Gold)




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
LTG John Norton died of cancer in his home in Basye, Va., on 6 Dec 2004, at age 86. General Norton was born at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and grew up in Norfolk.

General Norton, who was known as Jack, spent nearly 40 years in the Army. He joined in the mid-1930s and, after two years as an enlisted man, won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. At West Point, the faculty named him first captain of the Class of 1941, an honor bestowed on one cadet a year for academic achievement and leadership. The future general was the cadet commander of the corps at the academy.    

During World War II, General Norton was a paratrooper with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the famed 82nd Airborne Division, jumping behind German lines into the French village of St. Mere-Eglise on D-Day. A museum honoring the airborne efforts on D-Day now stands in St. Mere-Eglise.

General Norton also participated in the Battle of the Bulge and saw combat in Sicily, Italy, Belgium and Germany. In January 1946, he helped plan a victory parade in New York, leading the troops of the 82nd Airborne.

In the late 1940s, General Norton assisted Army General James M. Gavin in planning policies to coordinate airborne activities with the newly formed Air Force. From 1950 to 1953, he was executive officer to Army Secretary Frank Pace Jr. He spent the next several years in Yugoslavia, administering a federal aid program.

After receiving certification as an airplane and helicopter pilot in 1956, General Norton had a major role in shaping aviation within the Army. In 1962, he was a member of the Howze Board, directed by Lieutenant General Hamilton Howze, that devised the Army's modern doctrine of using airpower in wartime. Among other things, it outlined the future use of helicopters in combat.

General Norton became commanding general of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam in 1966, putting into practice the air cavalry recommendations he had helped frame four years before.

From 1970 to 1973, he was commanding general of the Combat Development Command at Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the early steps of building the Black Hawk helicopter and the M1 Abrams main battle tank. In his final military post, from 1973 to 1975, Gen. Norton was deputy commander in chief of NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples.

After his retirement from the Army, he worked with other military leaders in advising Pentagon officials and members of Congress. He also closely followed developments at West Point. He assisted in preparing three documentaries about airborne operations during World War II for the History Channel.

He is a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame and the Army Field Experimentation Hall of Fame. On 22 Sept 2004, he received the Doughboy Award for his contributions to combat Infantry.

His wife of 46 years, Cheyney McNabb Norton, died in 1992.

His second wife, Leslie C. Smith, whom he married in 1992, died in 2002.

Survivors include three children, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel John Norton Jr. of Berryville, Virginia, Alexandra Norton of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Cheyney Edwards of Warrenton; a sister; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

   
Other Comments:

Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1977 Induction

Lieutenant General John Norton became associated with Army Aviation in 1955 when he was assigned to the Office of the Chief for Research and Development in the Department of the Army. He served as chief of the Airborne, Aviation, and Electronics Division, and of the Airmobility Division. During that three-year tour, he attended the Army Aviation School, earning a dual rating as a fixed and rotary wing aviator.

He was assigned as the Army Aviation Officer, Headquarters, USCONARC, Fort Monroe, in September 1960. In that capacity, he was twice selected to serve on high-level boards. The first was the Hoelscher Committee which was formed to study and make proposals to the chief of staff regarding the reorganization of the Army.

The second board General Norton served on was the Tactical Mobility Requirements, or air assault doctrine while using simple, rugged aircraft. In September 1962, he returned to USCONARC headquarters and worked until May 1963 as chief of the Aviation Division, DCSUTR.

His assignments in Vietnam included commanding the 1st Air Cavalry Division. He left that position in June 1967 to become commanding general of the Army Aviation Materiel Command, St. Louis, MO. Lieutenant General Norton retired from active duty at Fort Monroe, VA, in July 1975.

   
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Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
From Month/Year
July / 1966
To Month/Year
May / 1967

Description
This campaign was from 1 July 1966 to 31 May 1967. United States operations after 1 July 1966 were a continuation of the earlier counteroffensive campaign. Recognizing the interdependence of political, economic, sociological, and military factors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that American military objectives should be to cause North Vietnam to cease its control and support of the insurgency in South Vietnam and Laos, to assist South Vietnam in defeating Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam, and to assist South Vietnam in pacification extending governmental control over its territory.

North Vietnam continued to build its own forces inside South Vietnam. At first this was done by continued infiltration by sea and along the Ho Chi Minh trail and then, in early 1966, through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). U.S. air elements received permission to conduct reconnaissance bombing raids, and tactical air strikes into North Vietnam just north of the DMZ, but ground forces were denied authority to conduct reconnaissance patrols in the northern portion of the DMZ and inside North Vietnam. Confined to South Vietnamese territory U.S. ground forces fought a war of attrition against the enemy, relying for a time on body counts as one standard indicator for measuring successful progress for winning the war.

During 1966 there were eighteen major operations, the most successful of these being Operation WHITE WING (MASHER). During this operation, the 1st Cavalry Division, Korean units, and ARVN forces cleared the northern half of Binh Dinh Province on the central coast. In the process they decimated a division, later designated the North Vietnamese 3d Division. The U.S. 3d Marine Division was moved into the area of the two northern provinces and in concert with South Vietnamese Army and other Marine Corps units, conducted Operation HASTINGS against enemy infiltrators across the DMZ.

The largest sweep of 1966 took place northwest of Saigon in Operation ATTLEBORO, involving 22,000 American and South Vietnamese troops pitted against the VC 9th Division and a NVA regiment. The Allies defeated the enemy and, in what became a frequent occurrence, forced him back to his havens in Cambodia or Laos.

By 31 December 1966, U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam numbered 385,300. Enemy forces also increased substantially, so that for the same period, total enemy strength was in excess of 282,000 in addition to an estimated 80,000 political cadres. By 30 June 1967, total U.S. forces in SVN had risen to 448,800, but enemy strength had increased as well.

On 8 January U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched separate drives against two major VC strongholds in South Vietnam-in the so-called "Iron Triangle" about 25 miles northwest of Saigon. For years this area had been under development as a VC logistics base and headquarters to control enemy activity in and around Saigon. The Allies captured huge caches of rice and other foodstuffs, destroyed a mammoth system of tunnels, and seized documents of considerable intelligence value.

In February, the same U.S. forces that had cleared the "Iron Triangle", were committed with other units in the largest allied operation of the war to date, JUNCTION CITY. Over 22 U.S. and four ARVN battalions engaged the enemy, killing 2,728. After clearing this area, the Allies constructed three airfields; erected a bridge and fortified two camps in which CIDG garrisons remained as the other allied forces withdrew.
 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
July / 1966
To Month/Year
May / 1967
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division

29th Civil Affairs Company, I Corps

1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment

630th Military Police Company

18th Military Police Brigade

16th Military Police Group

545th Military Police Company

300th Military Police Company

212th Military Police Company

66th Military Police Company

272nd Military Police Company

716th Military Police Battalion

504th Military Police Battalion

218th Military Police Company

194th Military Police Company

1st Military Police Company, 1st Infantry Division

615th Military Police Company

148th Military Police Detachment, 759th Military Police Battalion

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  5093 Also There at This Battle:
  • Allman, Timothy, SGT, (1965-1973)
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