GADDIS, NORMAN CARL
Name: Norman Carl Gaddis
Rank/Branch: O6/US Air Force
Unit: 558 TFS Cam Ranh Bay 12 TFW
Date of Birth: 30 September 1923
Home City of Record: Knoxville TN (family was in Winston/Salem NC)
Date of Loss: 12 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205900N 10592900 (WJ526201) (USG records)
Loss coordinates per NG: 205856N 1053022E
James Jefferson's loss coordinates: 205856N 1053022E (USG records)
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Note: F-84G Fighter Pilot in the Korean War, TDY 31st TFW
Other Personnel In Incident: James M. Jefferson (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated loss coordinates by
the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.
REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: James M. Jefferson left sunny Florida to attend the United States
Air Force Academy, where his brother had graduated in 1959. In 1964,
Jefferson graduated and embarked on what seemed to be a promising career
with the Air Force. After being trained on the F4 Phantom fighter jet, he
was sent to Vietnam.
On May 12, 1967, Col. Norman C. Gaddis, with 1Lt. Jefferson serving as his
bombardier/navigator, were sent on a mission over North Vietnam. When the
flight was near the border of Ha Tay and Hoa Binh Provinces, North Vietnam,
it was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Jefferson, as backseater, ejected
first. Gaddis ejected second and was immediately captured by the North
While Gaddis was a prisoner, he was shown a name tag and other items
belonging to his crewman, which were in good condition. He believed that
Jefferson had also been captured, although he never found him in the prison
system in which he was being held. As the years passed, he began to lose
hope of finding Jefferson alive.
In 1973, Gaddis was released with 590 other Americans. Shortly after his
release, Gaddis referred to some 300 Americans still in prison in Vietnam.
He publicly endorsed payment of reconstruction aid as a means of stability
in Southeast Asia. President Nixon had promised reconstruction aid to the
Vietnamese, but Congress ultimately vetoed its appropriation.
James M. Jefferson was not released, nor have the Vietnamese accounted for
him since that day. His fate is unknown, like nearly 2500 other Americans
still missing from Southeast Asia. Although the Vietnamese clearly know what
happened to Jefferson, the U.S. has been helpless to extract that
information from them.
Since 1973, over 10,000 reports have been received, convincing many experts
that hundreds of Americans are still alive in the hands of the governments
of Southeast Asia. One of them could be James M. Jefferson. What are we
doing to bring him home?
James M. Jefferson was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was
maintained Missing in Action..
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
NORMAN C. GADDIS
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: May 12, 1967
Released: March 4, 1973
On 12 May 1967 while on a mission near Hanoi I was hit by anti-aircraft
guns. As I attempted to leave the target area, a MIG-17 pilot spotted my
disabled aircraft and had little difficulty shooting it down. My pilot, Lt.
James Jefferson, a fine young officer and a graduate of the Air Force
Academy, ejected from the aircraft and I followed a few seconds later.
Unfortunately, Jim Jefferson apparently did not survive the ejection. Later
I saw a name tag which had been cut from his flight suit and a couple of
other articles of his flying equipment.
I was captured immediately and taken directly to Hanoi-a prize catch for the
North Vietnamese, since I was the first Colonel captured. My reception at
the Hilton could not even by the most general terms be described as amicable
and my captors often called me "stupid" since I didn't seem to know the
answers to their questions. After three weeks of very brutal treatment I was
placed in solitary confinement. At the end of 1000 days of solitary I was
allowed to live with another senior officer.
At the time, I didn't understand why the North Vietnamese made a drastic
policy change which improved our treatment. But I do now. It was the efforts
of the American people and organizations such as the National League of
Families, VIVA and the efforts of H. Ross Perot and other private citizens
that brought about the change. This of course, is a value judgement on my
part. Perhaps this will be assessed by the historians as an event that was
caused by world opinion when the application of military force could not
bring about the desired change. In any event, our treatment improved, as did
our living conditions and our morale. Torture became less frequent and so
did harassment. The Vietnamese seemed to pursue a "live and let live" policy
As things improved we began to see the "light at the end of the tunnel",
albeit very dim. Our faith and confidence in our leaders was enhanced.
Someday in the not too distant future we knew that America would secure our
release with honor. Our job was simple-do always what was best for our
country. We should never allow our desires to transcend the interests of our
I feel that we were fortunate to have a man such as Colonel John P. Flynn as
our leader. His perceptions and persistency caused us to constantly
re-evaluate our goals and our policies. And it is my belief that our image
at the time of the release could be attributed to John Peter Flynn.
To all of you who have made our return possible, to all who helped our
families, to all who prayed for our safe return, to all who waited
faithfully and patiently, to all who shared our woes, to all who supported
our nation, to all whose loved ones have not returned-I trust that the
Divine Providence will bless you and give you strength. God Bless you!
Norman Gaddis retired from the United States Air Force as a Brig. General.
He and his wife Hazel reside in North Carolina.
Hazel Gaddis, B/G Norman Gaddis' beloved wife passed away early Sunday
morning, 14 October, 2007 in a Rehabilitation Center in Greensboro, NC.
Several months ago doctors determined that Hazel had Myelo-Sierosis, an
incurable blood disease (It is akin to Leukemia.). Unfortunately, the
disease was more than she could overcome, and she passed away peacefully
with Norm at her bedside.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the
Hematology Clinic, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.
June 8, 2015
Brig. Gen. Norman C. Gaddis has published his story of his time as a
Prisoner of War during Vietnam.
The link will get you to the Amazon Kindle page - just $4.99 for Kindle
MORE INFO http://www.veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=46