On July 11, 2002, Norm Grant died of complications following
heart surgery. His kindness, wisdom, generosity, and sense
of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Norm's
contributions to the community, the business world, and our
organization were enormous.
Norm was a past president of the Minnesota 8th Air Force
Historical Society and presided over our Wednesday meetings
for years. He was also president emeritus of the National
8th Air Force Historical Society and past president of the
493rd Bomb Group.
As the navigator and only survivor of a nine-man crew that
was shot down over France in 1944, Norm spent nine months
as a POW. So that experiences like his would not be forgotten,
Norm told his story to hundreds of schoolchildrenand helped
establish a week in October when Minnesotans honor members
of the 8th Air Force and veterans at large.
We pay tribute to Norm and to two founding members of the
Minnesota Chapter, Art Teel and Jim Keefe, who have recently
passed away and are "forever aloft."
|Art Teel was a B-17 pilot for the
463rd bomb group of the 15th Air Force who spent time as a POW.
He served on our Hospitality Committee.
||Jim Keefe was a member of the 95th
Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. He was a past president of
the Minnesota Chapter. We fondly refer to our roster of active
members as "Keefe's Krew."
I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941