In service

July 2, 1942 Fort Bragg

Twin brothers Edward R. Norton and James A. Norton Jr. were obsessed with flying. After two years of study they signed up as volunteers in the US Air Force. They were trained as bomber pilots.

Read the full story at Resources >

Stationed in England

Dec 1942, Bury St. Edmunds

In December 1942 and after their Flight Training Edward and James were sent to England and assigned to the 452nd Bombardment Squadron. At full strength their B-26 Bomb Squadron consisted of 16 aircraft and 377 men.

See Edward & James' Combat route Map 1>

The second mission

May 17, 1943, North Sea

On May 17, 1943 the Norton brothers flew their first mission in a convoy of 11 Martin B-26 Marauder bombers. Targets: the power stations of Velsen and Haarlem. The mission ended in tragedy. All the bombers were shot down.
See Edward & James' Combat Route Map 2>

Body washed ashore

July 26, 1943 Haarlem

In September 1945 - more than two years after the disaster - Mr. Norton heard from the Mayor of Haarlem that James' body had been washed up on the beach on 26 July. Edward's body was never recovered.

See Edward & James' Combat route Map 3>

Final resting place

after the war, Margraten

After the war, the Norton family decided that Edward & James should find their final resting place in Margraten. Of the crew members killed on 17 May 1943, twelve are buried in Margraten, including James (P-16-5). Edward's name can be seen on the Walls of the Missing along with the names of seven other crew members.

See Edward & James' Combat route map 4>

July 1943 (?)

Registration ARC

September 1943

to the UK

July 16, 1944

Landing on Utah Beach

March 15, 1945


May 1, 1945

Died on pleasure flight

June 19, 1945

Buried in Margraten, Block RR, Row 12 Grave 290

November 23, 1943

Departure for Europa

January 20, 1944

Arriving in England

June 1944

Landing Omaha Beach

US enters the war

December 11, 1941

Nazi Germany declares war on the US

Turnaround WWII

Februari 2, 1943

Battle of Stalingrad: Red Army defeats Germans


Norton twins

Born aviators

Name: Edward “Hoggy” Robertson
Norton & James “Wack” Arthur Norton Jr.
Born: August 18, 1920
Deceased: May 17, 1943, 22 years
Rank & Army
2e Lieutenant, 452 Bombardment Squadron,
322 Bombardment Group
Cemetery: Edward: Walls of the Missing
James: Block P, Row 16, Grave 4

Twins Edward R. Norton and James A. Norton Jr. were obsessed with flying. They applied as volunteers to the US Air Force and became bomber pilots.

On May 17, 1943 they flew their first mission in a convoy of 11 Martin B-26 Marauder bombers. It would also be their last ... their plane was shot down by German flak.

Both brothers - 22 years old - were killed in the chilly waters of the North Sea. They died as they had lived: inseparable.

Pilot of a
B-26 bomber

De Martin B-26 Marauder was one of the bombers used in WWII by the US Air Force. A B-26 had a seven-man crew and could carry 2,600 kg of bombs.

Edward Norton was 1st pilot and his co-pilot was James Norton. The brothers flew their mission on May 17, 1943 zero altitude - just above the ground - in order to drop their bombs on targets as accurately as possible. This meant that the risk of civilian casualties was also quite small, but the chance of being hit by a German FLAK high and happened with 9 out of 11 aircraft, including those of the Norton brothers. They were hit above IJmuiden and crashed into the North Sea.