SEALS Norris, Thomas Rollard

John Robertson

Staff member
Thomas Rollard
  • UNIT
U.S.N.R. Seal Team 2 attached STDAT 158
  • RANK
Medal of Honor
Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam 1972
born 14.1.1944 Jacksonville, Florida
entered service Silver Spring, Maryland
Seal Adviser with Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team,
HQ US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
WIA 31.10.1972


Medal of Honor : The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Thomas Rolland Norris, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action in the Republic of Vietnam from 10 - 13 April 1972, as a Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) Advisor with the U.S. Military Assistance Command. Lieutenant Norris completed an unprecedented ground rescue of two downed pilots deep within heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Tri Province. Lieutenant Norris, on the night of 10 April, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory, located one of the downed pilots at daybreak, and returned to the Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 11 April, after a devastating mortar and rocket attack on the small FOB, Lieutenant Norris led a three-man team on two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. On the afternoon of the 12th, a forward air controller located the pilot and notified Lieutenant Norris. Dressed in fishermen disguises and using a sampan, Lieutenant Norris and one Vietnamese traveled throughout that night and found the injured pilot at dawn. Covering the pilot with bamboo and vegetation, they began the return journey, successfully evading a North Vietnamese patrol. Approaching the FOB, they came under heavy machinegun fire. Lieutenant Norris called in an air strike which provided suppression fire and a smoke screen, allowing the rescue party to reach the FOB. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, undaunted courage, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, Lieutenant Norris enhanced the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

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