Retired June 1, 1976.
Brigadier General Norman C. Gaddis is deputy director of operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Gaddis was born in 1923, in Dandridge, Tenn. He attended the University of Tennessee in 1947, and the University of Maryland in 1949. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, 1961, and the National War College, 1966.
He entered active military duty in October 1942 and under the aviation cadet program received his commission and pilot wings at Williams Army Air Field, Ariz., in November 1944.
His first assignment after graduation from pilot training was at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where he flew P-40 Warhawk aircraft. In February 1945 he was transferred to Dale Mabry Field, Fla., and then Bartow Army Air Field, Fla., where he flew P-40 and P-51 Mustang aircraft. He was relieved from active duty in October 1945 and was recalled to active duty in February 1949.
He then served three years with the 86th Fighter Wing in Neubiberg, Germany, as a pilot and flight commander. In March 1952 he was transferred to the 31st Fighter Wing at Turner Air Force Base, Ga., where he flew F-84 Thunderjets. While assigned to the 31st Wing, he participated in "Fox Peter One" - the first jet fighter crossing of the Pacific Ocean. In May 1954, General Gaddis was assigned to the 81st Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, as the wing standardization officer. He was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany, in November 1955 to serve as operations staff officer in the Standardization Division.
General Gaddis was assigned to the 450th Fighter Wing, Foster Air Force Base, Texas, in May 1957, as squadron operations officer. He joined the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in April 1958 where he flew the F-100 Super Sabre as a flight instructor, and later was director of operations and training. In August 1960 he entered Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In July 1961 General Gaddis was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in the Directorate of Operations, as a staff officer in the Tactical Division. His duties included supervision of tactical air operations and tactical combat crew training programs. In August 1965 he entered the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. After graduation he attended F-4 Phantom combat crew training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Gaddis was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in November 1966 where he served as assistant deputy commander for operations, 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base. He had flown 72 combat missions in South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Laos prior to May 12, 1967, when he was listed as missing in action. General Gaddis was a prisoner of war held by the North Vietnamese from May 12, 1967, until his release on March 4, 1973.
Following a brief interlude for convalescence, he assumed duties as vice commander, 82d Flying Training Wing, Air Training Command, at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in August 1973, and became commander in February 1974.
In July 1974 General Gaddis assumed duties as deputy director for operational forces, Directorate of Operations, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C. In February 1975 he was reassigned as deputy director of operations in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster and "V" device, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm. He is a command pilot with more than 4,300 flying hours.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective June 1, 1974, with date of rank May 26, 1974.