Air Commodore Sir Henry Nigel St Valery Norman

Air Commodore Sir Henry Nigel St Valery Norman

Male 1897 - 1943  (45 years)

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  • Name Henry Nigel St Valery Norman 
    Title Air Commodore 
    Prefix Sir 
    Born 21 May 1897 
    Gender Male 
    Career Henry Nigel St. Valery Norman was born on May 21st, 1897, son of the Right Hon. Sir Henry Norman (created a baronet of Honeyhanger, Surrey, 1915), whom he succeeded in 1939. He was educated at Winchester, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, and during the 1914-18 war served in France in the K.G.A. and the R.E.

    In 1926 he became a private aircraft owner, and two years later, with Mr. F. A. I. Muntz, founded Airwork Limited to construct and develop Heston Airport. He specialised in planning airports in this country and abroad. In 1926 he joined the Auxiliary Air Force as a pilot officer, and served with No. 601 (County of London) Squadron for10 years, being promoted squadron leader in November, 1931. In March, 1940, he became temporary, wing commander; in June, 1942, temporary group captain, and in March this year acting air commodore.

    From the early days of the war he worked in close collaboration with the Army on matters pertaining to airborne troops. It was his brain which controlled the air side of the first British paratroop raid on Italy shortly after she entered the war. He not only arranged all the details, but took a personal interest in all the numerous training exercises before the raid and accompanied the paratroops on the expedition, returning. regretfully, he said, in an aircraft, as he was not at that time a proficient parachutist. When he got back, he went on a parachute course at one of the R.A.F. schools. He distinguished himself in the raid by British parachute troops on the coast of northern France in March, 1942, when the radio location post at Bruneval, 12 miles north of Havre, was destroyed. It was a combined operation of the Royal Navy, the Army, and the Royal Air Force, the carrying force of RAF bombers being under Grp. Capt. Sir Nigel Norman and led by Wing Cdr. P. C. Pickard. As officer commanding a R.A.F. formation of an airborne division he was responsible for the intricate organisation before the trans-port of our airborne troops to North Africa.

    In 1926 Norman married Patricia Moyra, eldest daughter of the late Lt. Col J. H. A. Annesley, and they had three sons, the eldest of whom, Mark Annesley, born on February 8th, 1927, succeeds as third baronet.

    Private flying, commercial and Service aviation all lose a man of a type they can ill spare in the death of Nigel Norman. For the four years he commanded 601 squadron, those who were associated with him knew that a better or more enthusiastic commanding officer could hardly have been found.

    His interest in aviation was unbounded, and there were few aspects of it that he omitted from his activities. In 1935, in association with Graham Dawbarn, he founded the firm of Norman and Dawbarn, and was responsible for the lay-out of many municipal airports in this country, including those at Birmingham, Ringway, Jersey, and Guernsey.

    He was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the Aviation Committee of the London Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Council of the Air Registration Board, of which body he was also chairman of the Design and Construction Panel. It is not only for his aviation activities that Nigel Norman will be remembered. He combined an imaginative approach to the problems of civil aviation which, together with his great personal charm and translucent integrity of character, made it certain that he would have played a great part in the future of civil aviation.

    19 May 1943, Norman died when Lockheed Hudson IIIA FH168 that was to carry him to North Africa crash landed after take-off from RAF St.Eval and burst into flames.

    . 4 Jun 1939 
    2nd Baronet Norman, of Honeyhanger, Parish of Shottermill, Surrey.

    Died 19 May 1943  7m south of St Eval, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I392  Mark Fogg-Elliot
    Last Modified 2 Nov 2023 

    Family Patricia Moyra Annesley,   b. 26 Apr 1904 
    Married 1926 
     1. Mark Annesley Norman,   b. 8 Feb 1927,   d. 9 Sep 2013  (Age 86 years)
    +2. Nigel Desmond Norman, CBE FRAeS,   b. 13 Aug 1929,   d. 13 Nov 2002  (Age 73 years)
     3. Torquil Norman,   b. 11 Apr 1933
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2023 
    Family ID F131  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Henry Nigel Norman
    Henry Nigel Norman

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