Amica at London
Royal Canadian Air Force – Served 2 years
Norman enlisted to serve his country at 16 years of age.
When Norman was in high school, he enrolled in the machine shop tool and die course. After about two and a half years into the course, officials visited his class and selected the top 10 students to become machinists to produce military equipment for the fighting serviceman. As one of the students selected, Norman was promised a full 5-year high school diploma if he accepted the job.
At 16 years of age, with the promise of a high school diploma and a good paying job, Norman jumped at the chance. Assigned to the Fleet Aircraft Factory in Fort Erie, he worked 12 hour days in a machine shop producing aircraft parts. While there, Norman indentured to an older Journeyman Tool and Die maker and completed his accreditation as a Tool and Die maker.
After a year, Fleet opened a new plant, Central Aircraft, at the London Airport. Norman transferred there as a Foreman. At the same time, Norman’s buddies were starting to join the services and Norman was anxious to join them. Having no one to replace him, Fleet asked Norman to stay at the plant for another year.
Finally at the age of 19, Norman was able to enlist and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and began his training. Norman only got in 12 hours of pilot training when the RCAF ceased training pilots. He then became a Flight Engineer on the Lancaster Bomber. A requirement of Flight Engineer was being able to pilot the plane in the event the pilot became incapacitated.
Following his discharge at 21, Norman studied Engineering in California and owned and operated his own construction and development company in London, Ontario.