Louis R. Norman

NAME
Louis Robert Norman
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
O-7125
UNIT
VMSB-141
HOME OF RECORD
112 West 54th Street, Jacksonville, FL
(raised Natrona, PA)
NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Louis Norman
DATE OF BIRTH
September 15, 1917
ENTERED SERVICE
November 14, 1940
DATE OF LOSS
October 8, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead February 19, 1945
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
First Lieutenant Louis Norman was a scout-bomber pilot assigned to VMSB-141, part of the “Cactus Air Force” that operated out of Guadalcanal. He arrived at Henderson Field on 30 September 1942 and began flying combat missions in the Solomon Islands.

On 8 October 1942, a group of six Japanese ships was spotted lurking near New Georgia. A strike force consisting of eleven Wildcats and eleven bombers was organized and departed from Henderson Field at 1655. Lieutenant Norman and ARM2c Alfred W. Dobson of Navy squadron VS-3 flew a Dauntless dive bomber (SBD-3 Bureau Number 03255) in the attack.*

Japanese floatplanes defending the fleet scattered the Americans, forcing them to find their own way back to safety. Lieutenant Norman’s bomber was last seen flying away from Guadalcanal; he did not respond to radio calls or hand signals, and failed to return to base.

Neither Louis Norman nor Alfred Dobson were seen alive again. Norman was declared dead on 19 February 1945; Dobson on 6 February 1946.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
First Lieutenant
(posthumous Captain)
STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

 *Lieutenant Norman’s regular gunner was a VMSB-141 aviator, Sergeant Joseph Astronskas. Why he flew with a Navy man on this mission is not known; Astronskas may have been ill or otherwise indisposed when the mission was rapidly planned.

Alfred Wayne Dobson, born 15 November 1921, was a native of Oklahoma. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs. Maime Drummond Dobson, of Broken Arrow. Dobson is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

Biography:
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