AMM3 Clarence Johanas “John” Norby, Jr

AMM3 Clarence Johanas “John” Norby, Jr

Henderson, Adams County, Colorado, USA
Death 4 Jun 1942 (aged 20–21)
At Sea
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 56127071 · View Source
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Clarence Johanas Norby and Flora E Reynolds were married on 09 Jan 1921 in Denver, Adams, CO. They were the parents of only one child; Clarence Johanas "John" Norby Jr. John graduated from Golden High School in Golden, CO in 1939.
Clarence J Norby Jr enlisted in the US Navy (NSN:372-19-10) on 09 Oct 1940 in Denver, CO. In November Norby completed his basic training at the Naval Training Station (NTS) in San Diego, CA. On 29 Nov 1940 Apprentice Seaman (AS) Norby reported to the Naval Air Station, San Diego from the NTS, San Diego for duty. On 9 Feb 1941 while still stationed at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, Norby was promoted to Seaman 2/c. S2/c Clarence Johanas Norby Jr., was transferred on 05 April 1941 from NAS San Diego to COMPATWING II in Pearl Harbor. On 20 April 1941 S2/c Norby came aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6) from the Receiving Station San Diego for further transfer to the USS Honolulu (CL-48). On 27 April 1941 Seaman 2/c Norby, a passenger aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6), was transferred to duty with Patrol Wing Two. On 17 Jun 1941 S2/c Norby was transferred from the USS Thorton (AVD-11) to Patrol Squadron 21 in Pearl Harbor. The next day, 18 Jun 1941 Norby was transferred to NAS Pearl Harbor for temporary duty (the duty was probably related to training to be an aviation machinist mate). Norby was promoted to S1/c on 01 July 1941. On 17 Sept 1941 S2/c Norby was transferred from NAS Pearl Harbor back to VP-21, temporary duty completed. Norby was promoted from S1/c to Aviation Machinist Mate third class on 01 Nov 1941. On 29 Nov 1941 AMM3 Norby reported aboard the USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) as a passenger for transport from VP-21 to Wake Island. On 20 Dec 1941 AMM3 Norby was transferred from the USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) to the Receiving Station, Pearl Harbor. On 31 Mar 1942 Petty Officer Norby of Patrol Squadron 21, was transferred to PW-1 gunnery school for temporary duty. Norby was transferred to Patrol Squadron 44 (VP-44) probably in April 1942 after he completed gunnery school.
Patrol Squadron Forty-four (VP-44) departed from the Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA for Pearl Harbor, T.H., in two divisions of six planes each. The first of these left the United States on March 26, 1942. The second, because of unfavorable weather, delayed its departure until April 12. Ordered to Midway for extended operations, PATRON 44 arrived at Eastern Island on the 22nd of May and began long range reconnaissance flights on 27 May in anticipation of a Japanese attempt to capture the island. During the first few days of June 1942, the VP-23 and VP-44 PBYs based at Midway flew long patrols over the trackless ocean, searching for signs of enemy shipping. Then on 3 Jun came the first surface contact reports from the VP-23 PBY searchers. The following day, 04 Jun 1942, pilot Lt. (j.g.) Robert S. Whitman and his PBY-5A Catalina from VP-44 were airborne again when he reported contact at 0925 with enemy ships (probably the Japanese Occupation Force), antiaircraft fire, and that his aircraft was being "opposed by two enemy observation planes." Japanese Mitsubishi F1M2 Type 0 floatplanes from the seaplane carrier Chitose had attacked Ltjg Whitman's Catalina about 340 miles west of Midway. During the attack Whitman and four other crewmen were killed and one mortally wounded, and the plane set afire. AOM2c Philip L. Fulghum, the PBY’s bow gunner, continued to man his .50-caliber machine gun, and sent one of the attackers away trailing smoke. On his own initiative, with a crash imminent, Fulghum released the plane’s two 500-pound bombs. After the crash, AMM1c Virgil Ruel Marsh, despite the roaring flames, freed a rubber boat from the plane, which AMM2c John C. Weeks repaired. Fulghum then assisted the wounded into the raft. Several days later, June 6, 1942, a PBY commanded by Ltjg Norman Bradley located the five men in the raft. He safely picked them up and returned them to Midway. Ensign Camp would later die on Midway of his wounds. After the battle of Midway Patrol Squadron 44 returned to Pearl Harbor on 09 Jun 1942. Petty Officer Norby was awarded the Purple Heart medal for wounds he received in combat on 04 Jun 1942. His remains were unrecoverable.
The crew of 44-P-12 (call sign 8V55)

ACRM James W. Adams, (Radio Operator)
(KIA-Drowned after clearing downed aircraft)
Ens Jack H Camp (Observer) (Died of Wounds 7 Jun 1942)
AOM2c Philip L. Fulghum, (Bombarier/Bow gunner)
(WIA - exposure)
Virgil R. Marsh, AMM1, (Flight Engineer) (WIA - exposure)
Ensign Walter H. Mosley, (Co-pilot) (KIA)
Norby, Clarence J. Jr. AMM3c (Gunner) (KIA)
RM3c William H. O'Farrell, (Gunner)(KIA)
Weeks, John C. AMM2c (Gunner) (WIA)
Lt.(jg) Robert S. Whitman, (Pilot) (KIA)
Ensign Lee Coleman McCleary (Navigator) (WIA)

Wounded in Action (WIA), Killed in Action (KIA)
Presidential Commemoration reads:
In grateful memory of Clarence Johannes Norby, who died in the service of his country, SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED Patrol , 5 JUNE 1943 (Presumed)*. He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,
President of the United States

(*Presumed dead on 5 Jun 1943. Actual date gone missing was 4 Jun 1942.)
[bio compiled by G47]

Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Colorado.

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  • Maintained by: G47
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56127071
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for AMM3 Clarence Johanas “John” Norby, Jr (1921–4 Jun 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56127071, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by G47 (contributor 47281148) .