Vet’s adventurous life included D-Day, honor flight

Linwood’s Bob Norton dies at 98

 

World War II veteran Bob Norton greets a Minnesota Twins official prior to hoisting the flag before a game in August. (File photo by Kat Ladwig)

World War II veteran Bob Norton greets a Minnesota Twins official prior to hoisting the flag before a game in August. (File photo by Kat Ladwig)

Clint Riese
News Editor

A life full of adventure came to an end Dec. 31. World War II veteran Bob Norton, of Linwood, passed away at age 98.

The Afton, Iowa, native enlisted in the Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a pharmacist mate aboard a landing craft tank attached to the USS Philadelphia, his vehicle was among the first to land in Sicily during the invasion of Italy on Sept. 3, 1943. The next year his unit took part in the storming of Normandy, France, on D-Day.

Norton served as chief pharmacist mate aboard a destroyer in the South Pacific in late 1944. He was training to invade Japan when the war ended the next year.

He spent most of his career as a pharmacist in Sioux City, Iowa. He retired in 1983 and he and his wife, Violet, moved to Minnesota to be near their son, Scott, and his wife, Gloria.

At age 94, Norton made his first visit to Washington, D.C., as friends and relatives pitched in to make their own “honor flight” for Norton to see the National World War II Memorial.

Key to the effort were Mark Holl and Dale Sandahl, friends Norton made through the Wyoming Men’s Prayer Breakfast group.

The same trio last summer attended a Minnesota Twins game, which Norton helped open through the honorary duty of raising the American flag in the right field plaza.

Funeral details

Memorial services for Bob Norton will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Maranatha Assembly of God Church, 10963 Lake Blvd., Chisago City The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will take place at 2 p.m. at Wyoming United Methodist Cemetery.

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