|Name:||Thomas R. Norris|
|Birth Day:||January 14, 1944|
|Birth Place:||Jacksonville, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He participated in the Boy Scouts of America during his childhood and later studied sociology and criminology at the University of Maryland.
Thomas Norris was born on January 14, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. As a youth, he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Following high school, he entered the University of Maryland in 1963, with the intent of pursuing a criminology career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a specialty in Criminology in 1967. While at university, he was an Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling champion in 1965 and 1966.
In April 1972, Norris was one of few remaining SEALs in Vietnam serving with MACVSOG Danang Naval Advisory Detachment. When Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton was shot down behind enemy lines, aerial combat search and rescue operations failed, leading to the loss of five additional aircraft and the death of 11 or more airmen, two captured, and three more down and needing rescue. Norris was tasked with mounting a ground operation to recover Hambleton, Lieutenant Mark Clark, and Lieutenant Bruce Walker from behind enemy lines. Assisted by Vietnamese Sea Commando forces, he and Republic of Vietnam Navy Petty Officer Nguyen Van Kiet went more than 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) behind enemy lines and successfully rescued two of the downed American aviators. Walker was discovered and killed by the North Vietnamese Army. Though Norris at first rejected the honor, he was recognized with the Medal of Honor in 1975. His actions were dramatized in the movie Bat*21.
Six months later, on October 31, 1972, Norris and fellow Navy SEAL Michael E. Thornton accompanied three South Vietnamese special forces soldiers on an intelligence gathering operation south of the demilitarized zone. They intended to reconnoiter the area around the Cửa Việt Base near the coast of Quảng Trị Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone.
Thornton was recognized with the Medal of Honor for his actions by President Richard Nixon during a ceremony at the White House on October 15, 1973. He snuck Norris out of the hospital in the middle of the night so Norris could attend the ceremony. Norris was later awarded the Medal of Honor by President Gerald R. Ford in a White House ceremony on March 6, 1976. Thornton thus became the first Medal of Honor recipient recognized for saving the life of another Medal of Honor recipient. Norris lost an eye and part of his skull. He spent three years recovering from his injuries in the hospital and over a six-year period underwent many major surgeries. As a result of the head injury, he was medically retired from the navy in May 1975.
In 1976, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
In 1979, Norris joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and requested a waiver for his disabilities. FBI director William Webster responded, "If you can pass the same test as anybody else applying for this organization, I will waive your disabilities." In September 1979, Norris passed the test and subsequently was an FBI Special Agent for 20 years. He was an original member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team as an assault team leader. He is a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Norris received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 2011. He is one of nine Eagle Scouts who received the Medal of Honor.
Thomas was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
Currently, Thomas R. Norris is 79 years, 2 months and 13 days old. Thomas R. Norris will celebrate 80th birthday on a Sunday 14th of January 2024. Below we countdown to Thomas R. Norris upcoming birthday.