General Gaddis survives Hanoi, dies at 100

Sandra ClarkObits

A real American hero died February 13, 2024, in Durham, North Carolina. Norman C. Gaddis, a career Air Force officer, was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, on September 30, 1923, making him 100 years old at death.

An Air Force pilot, Gaddis entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 and rose to the rank of brigadier general at retirement on June 1, 1976. As a command pilot, he flew over 4,300 hours in 13 different airplanes.

His full obituary gives details of his career.

Then-Col. Gaddis was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in Vietnam in November 1966. During his 73rd combat mission on May 12, 1967, he was forced to bail out of his aircraft near Hanoi, was captured, and was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for 2,124 days. He was released on March 4, 1973.

His older brother, Ralph Earl Gaddis, was killed on June 12, 1944, at St. Mere Eglise, France. His younger sister, Opal Suddarth of Knoxville, Tennessee, passed away on October 5, 2018.

The family will receive visitors at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham on February 23, from 6-8 p.m. A celebration of life will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham on April 6 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception. The celebration is open to the public. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars

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