Norman C. Grant, Sr., B-24 Navigator, 8th AF, 493 BG, 860 Sq., ex-POW

Norman C. (Norm) Grant, Sr. B-24 Navigator, USAAF, 8th Air Force, 493rd Bomb Group, 860th Bomb Squadron, Base # 152 Ipswich, England
 
Norm Grant was a Past President of the 8th AFHS-Mn and there is a webpage about him on the main 8th AFHS-Mn website.
The is an excellent 2 hour video about Norm Grant speaking about his WW II experiences entitled "24th Mission: The Story of Norman C. Grant" Jason Medvec, Executive Producer. 
Norm also appears briefly in the national 8th AFHS's "Start Your Engines" video.
 
Biographical sketch

Born 1920

Grew up in Minneapolis, Mn.

Enlisted in U.S. Army Air Corps September 2, 1942
 
Commissioned 2nd Lt.: 1944 Received Navigator wings at San Marcos, Texas Dec. 4, 1943
 
Assigned B-24 crew at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. He departed Texas to McCook Nebraska to join in the formation of 493rd Bomb Group.

Arrival in England: May 1, 1944

First combat mission on D-Day June 6, 1944

August 18, 1944: On 24th mission: B-24 plane Boley Cat was hit by flak over Roye-Amy German air base in northern France (Pierpoint, France), pilot killed, nose gunner wounded, bailed out, He thought he was the lone survivor of a nine man crew but learned much later in life on a visit to France from an eyewitness, that a second open parachute was seen. Captured by German soldiers POW, interrogated at Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III (Sagan, Germany), Winter March, Moosberg, liberation, Camp Lucky Strike, took a ship home to Boston, Discharged. Much later in life, the French farmer where the plane crashed boxed up the plane parts and mailed them to Norm. The 8th AFHS-Mn still retains these. Some radio parts are labelled.

Worked in the securities business 42 years

Passed away July 11, 2002 following complications from heart surgery, Age 81

To read an account of his time in service and many experiences, see Don Ward’s book, The Greatest Generation of Silver Wings (2004) pp. 201-209. ISBN 0-9654964-0-8. The Memorial Press.
 
He was also featured in a Mpls. Star tribune newspaper article with Larry Bachman about 8th AFHS-Mn veterans speaking to schoolchildren.
 
The article was by Allie Shah; Staff Writer.
Norman Grant Sr., 81, war veteran and businessman
Allie Shah
Star Tribune
Published Jul 15, 2002

Norman Grant Sr. probably would rather have forgotten his harrowing experience as a World War II navigator who was shot down and put in a prison camp.

But he feared that the history of his experience, like that of so many other veterans, would be forgotten. So he told his story to hundreds of schoolchildren and was instrumental in establishing a week in Minnesota to honor the contributions of the Eighth Air Force and of veterans at large.

"His aim was to spread the word of what was done in World War II and why it was done. A lot of us wanted to forget about it when we got back home," said Larry Bachman, a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society.

Grant, 81, of Richfield and Aitkin, died Thursday from complications after heart surgery at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Born in Minneapolis, he graduated from South High School in 1939. He joined the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Debach, England, said his wife of 58 years, Margaret. On Aug. 18, 1944, his plane was shot down over France , and he was the only survivor in the nine-man crew. He was captured and spent nine months as a prisoner of war. During that time, Grant lost 50 pounds and marched with thousands of other prisoners across Germany in one of the coldest winters in Europe, his wife said.

After the war, he used the same will that helped him survive as a POW to start a mutual-fund investment business in the mid 1950s and became a pioneer in the industry, said his daughter, Deena Grant of Minneapolis. "He recognized it was an extraordinary opportunity for the regular person to be able to be involved in an investment opportunity that would benefit them greatly," she said.

In recent years, he served as president of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society and pushed for a proclamation declaring the week of Oct. 8-14 as a time to honor the more than 170 Eighth Air Force bombers shot down over Germany in that week alone.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include daughters Carla Adams of Golden Valley, Linda Medvec of Forest Lake, Tanya Sieben of Hayward, Wis., and Raana Grant of Edina; a son, Norm Jr. of Chanhassen; 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Richard's Catholic Community, 7540 Penn Av. S., Richfield. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel, W. 50th St. & Hwy. 100 and at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church.

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A Summary from the American War Memorials Overseas, Inc. website:

Norman C. Grant was born in 1920 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944. He served as the navigator for the 860th Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group during World War II. On August 18, 1944, 2LT Grant and his crew were shot down during a raid of a German airfield in Roye-Amy. Their B-24 bomber, called "Bolicat," crashed in a field in Boussicourt, France. Grant was the lone survivor of the crash; he was captured by the Germans as a prisoner of war and sent to Stalag Luft III, a German prison camp. After the war, Norman lived to be 81 and die on July 11, 2002

 
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