Widow Receives Husband's
World War II Medal
(April 25, 2009)
World War II memories of Capt. William Norred were on
display during a ceremony April 13 in Greenville, Ala., where his widow was
presented the Distinguished Flying Cross he earned in a wartime B-26 Marauder
mission in Africa.
4/21/2009 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS)
-- In a ceremony that took almost 66 years to happen, Mrs.
Doris Norred, widow of Army Air Corps veteran, Capt. William
Norred, received her husband's Distinguished Flying Cross
with Valor April 13 for his actions during World War II.
Captain Norred was honored in a ceremony at the Butler
County Commission in Greenville, Ala., before a group of
family members, friends and well wishers.
Lt. Gen. Allen Peck, Air University commander, presented the
medal and told Mrs. Norred the honor is "not given lightly,"
and a correction to military records is a "significant
In December 2008 the Air Force Board for
Correction of Military Records reviewed the evidence and
corrected Captain Norred's records by directing the award of
the Distinguished Flying Cross.
"This ceremony represents justice delayed, but justice
done," General Peck said. "It's an honor for me to be sure
this is done right. Captain Norred follows in the footsteps
of Charles Lindbergh, who was the first to receive the DFC,
the Wright Brothers and those who have served with valor in
He told the audience Captain Norred, who died in August
2008, exemplified Air Force core values, and the general
also thanked a group of school children for attending.
"It's great to see youngsters here today," he said. "We are
losing our World War II veterans at the rate of about 1,000
each day, so I'm glad you could make it to this ceremony."
Mrs. Norred described the event as an emotional time. She
said she really appreciated General Peck traveling to
Greenville to make the presentation and knew her husband
would have appreciated it as well.
"I know my husband is looking down, a little embarrassed
perhaps, but pleased with this," she said. "I can only think
of two words to say, thank you."
Butler County Commissioner Jesse McWilliams, speaking for
the commission, said he was truly honored to be at the
ceremony, and, for him, there was also a personal reason.
"I grew up across the road from the Norreds," he said. "Mr.
Norred was a good man his whole life, and in his last days,
he was a class act."
Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said he, too, was honored
to take part in the medal presentation because this was, "a
wonderful family and a wonderful occasion."
"We would not be here today if not for people like Mr.
Norred," he said. "We would not have the freedom we enjoy."
The citation that accompanied the medal said Captain Norred
distinguished himself by heroism and outstanding
professional skills during an aerial flight as a B-26
Marauder pilot in the African Theater, June 15, 1943. It
said he "contributed singularly" to the success of his group
as flight leader and formation commander.
During the mission over Rizzo Airdrome, Sicily, the
captain's plane was damaged by intense anti-aircraft fire,
but he "masterfully" maintained control of the B-26, led the
formation through evasive actions and completed a
"devastating" bombing run. Captain Norred's unescorted
aircraft was then attacked by 12 enemy fighters. He was able
to outmaneuver the fighters, five of which were destroyed.
Retired Navy Adm. Clyde Marsh, who also served as a
commissioner with the Alabama Department of Veterans
Affairs, described Captain Norred as, "A hero who has flown
into the sun for the last time," he said there was no where
else he would want to be than at the ceremony.
"It is men like him who have paved the way for us," he said.
"I salute Captain Norred who made the crucial effort to make
our country safe, and I salute you the family for believing
in him as a husband and a father. He was the embodiment of
courage and honor and is a great American who will not be
Air University Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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