Lt. Col. Jens A. Norgaard: Additional Material

See original webpage.

Jens A. Norgaard

(1916 – 1989)

Most photos courtesy of the Norgaard family.

Profile 27 Jul 10, 21:11

Jens A Norgaard was born on 25 October 1916 in Christiansted in the then Danish West Indies Island of St. Croix. He is the son of first pilot Anders Jersen Norgaard (b. 1878) and Elna M. Norgaard (1886-1887).

On 31 March 1917 the Danish West Indies was sold to United States and became the United States Virgin Islands. The inhabitants became U.S. Citizens unless they preferred to remain Danish citizens. The family decided to become U.S. Citizens and to change their name from Nørregaard to Norgaard. In the 1920s they moved from the Virgin Islands to New York City and later to Iowa.

Jens A Norgaard enlisted in the U.S. Army, Air Corps, as aviation cadet in Fort Des Moines, Iowa, on 28 May 1941. He was trained as pilot.

Lead Pilot on D-Day

In June 1944, Jens A Norgaard was attached to 344th Bombardment Group holding the rank of Major. The 344th BG led the 387th, 397th, 394th, 323rd and the 386th Bomb Groups in an attack of the coastal batteries at Utah Beach during Operation Overlord (D-Day). Norgaard piloted the first aircraft to bomb at 0605 hrs. The last bombed at 625 hrs – H-hour minus 5 minutes. (Just 5 minutes before the troops landed)

Jens A Norgaard was the lead pilot of this formation of more than 400 B-26 Marauders. At 0412 hrs he took off in B-26 (42-95876, Y5-S, “Mary Jo” – named after is wife) from Stansted (station 169). The Marauders found their marks on the ground with great precision and – with a loss of just one aircraft – the 344th had a remarkable success.

Jens A Norgaard died on 24 September 1989 in Florida.