Summary

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Airman Apprentice (Navy) 1
Birth:
03 Feb 1950 1
Death:
08 Jan 1969 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Norman Franklin Ridley 1
Birth:
03 Feb 1950 1
Male 1
Death:
08 Jan 1969 1
Cause: Other Accident 1
Age at Death: 18 1
Body Recovered: Recovered 1
Casualty Date: 08 Jan 1969 1
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 1
Residence:
Hometown: Metlakatla, AK 1
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Marriage:
Marital Status: Single 1
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Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Airman Apprentice (Navy) 1
Enlistment Type:
Regular 1
Grade:
E2 1
Major Command:
7th Fleet 1
Service:
Navy 1
Ship:
USS CORAL SEA 1
Task Force:
TF 77 1
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Religion:
Protestant - Other Churches 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 54 1
Panel: 35W 1

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Stories

FROM THE VVMF


Salute to a Fellow Veteran

Remembrance posted by Jim and Tom Reece and Rosa KIng
You gave your life for your country and for this we Salute You.


I will never forget when we lost you Norm

Remembrance posted by J.R. Miller  
I can never forget that day when we lost you Norm. Its been 31+ years now. You
were just a kiddie cruiser waiting to get back to Conus and get married. You were
another young guy trying to the duty to his country. I can never forget watching
you get killed.

We Remember

Remembrance posted by Robert Sage

Norman is buried at Ocean View Cemetery, Metlakatla, Annette Island,
Alaska.


NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYER
Remembrance posted by Chris Spencer

It is said a man hasn't died as
long as he is remembered. This prayer is a way for families, friends and
fellow veterans to remember our fallen brothers and sisters. Do not stand
at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds
that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened
grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning hush, I
am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the stars that
shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not
die.


Thank You

Remembrance posted by Walter A. Soboleff Jr.
Norman Ridley...We never met, but I know your family well.
God Bless you for serving.
Yours In Christ..Walter A. Soboleff Jr.  

Thank you Mate
Remembrance posted by Donald Lytle

Although we never met personally, I want to thank you Norman Franklin
Ridley, for your courageous and valiant service, faithful contribution, and
most holy sacrifice, given to this great country of ours!

Your Spirit is alive--and strong, therefore, you shall never be forgotten, nor
has your death been in vain!

Again, thank you Sailor, for a job well done!
FAIR WINDS, AND ETERNAL PEACE MY FRIEND

Thank you Remembrance posted by Jeremy Steffen

Thank you for serving in the Vietnam War. Your service ensured that the
United Statesmilitary efforts would be effective. You prevented the
Vietnamese from causing more American deaths. You will not be
forgotten.

USS CORAL SEA CVA 43 ASSOCIATION

COMMENTS FROM THE USS CORAL SEA CVA 43 ASSOCIATION MEMORIAL PAGE
Norman Ridley - 1969

I too served onboard the Coral Sea between September 1968 to April 1972. I was an airman/crew leader in the Air Dept V-4 Div fuels. I want to ask you a very sensitive question. Just want to know if you were manning the catapult when AA Norman Ridley was struck by that last F-4 Phantom that we launched on that gloomy drizzling day? This is one incident that really got to me. Please don't get me wrong cause I'm not blaming anybody. It was just a freak accident but this is one that still stays with me and I guess it will for the rest of my life. Ridley only lasted 18 days in our division and he was what they call a "Kitty Cruise". I just found out last year that he was planning on getting married after that cruise in his hometown in Alaska. Sometimes I want to get in contact with someone in his family but I feel like I'll only be opening a can of worms, if you know what I mean. I have two friends that still stay in contact with me since all three of us got out at the same time. Paul Suarse from Providence, R.I. and Paul Brooks from Hazel Hurst, Mississippi and myself from Laredo, Texas. Paul Brooks and I got flown off the Coral Sea to Da Nang right after we had those two air strikes in Hiapong Harbor. I now live close to Washington D.C. and I go to visit Ridley at the Wall once a year. Just touching his name gives me some comfort. I really try not to go in November (Veterans Day) cause I don't think I could take it.

NOTES FROM THE WALL

Von Pittman
pittmanv@missouri.edu
Shipmate, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
5415 Dalcross Drive Columbia MO 65203 USA
We were shipmates, but I only recently learned your name from Jackson, your friend in A Division. But I have always remembered you and how suddenly and violently you were taken away from us. No man aboard that day will ever forget you and your sacrifice. Rest in peace.
Aug 30, 2009
    Garnet Jenkins
garijen@bresnan.net
Grand Junction Co
~ In Remembrance of a Fallen Hero ~

In Remembrance of your Sacrifice and with a Multitude of Thanks for your Courage, Service and Dedication to our Country and for Freedom. Rest in Peace, AA Norman Franklin Ridley and know that you will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. My brother, Sgt. David Dickinson is a young hero, who also made the Supreme Sacrifice in Vietnam in 1967.....NEVER MY SOUL, STILL THE SONG, OF WOUNDED HEARTS, THEIR LOVED ONE GONE.....OF HIM WHO GAVE HIS LIFE, FOR ME.....THAT I MIGHT LIVE, IN LIBERTY.
Jan 8, 2009
  MIKE COCHRAN
frontiernet.net
FLIGHT DECK SHIP MATE
1779 STRAWBERRY STREET SHOW LOW AZ 85901 USA
WE NEVER MADE IT FISHING IN ALASKA, DID WE?
WE SHARED SOME CHOW, LIED ABOUT FISHING. (WHO WAS BETTER). YOU WERE VERY PROUD OF ALSAKA, AND WE WERE GOING PUT UP A SIGN.."GONE FISHIN" WHEN WE GOT OUT, AND HEAD FOR ALSAKA.
I WAS UP THERE WITH YOU THAT RAINY COLD JANUARY MORNING. I WAS IN BACK OF YOU ON CATAPULT 3. I COULDN'T HELP YOU NORMAN. IT WAS OVER SO DAMN FAST. JUST OVER.
I HAVE BEEN TO THE WALL ONCE. I COULDN'T FIND THE COURAGE TO VISIT YOU.
BUT I VISIT YOU ALL THE TIME IN MY MEMORIES. I HAVE YOU IN MY HEART.
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN UP ON THE FLIGHT DECK DON'T CATCH ALL THE BIG ONES.

R. MIKE COCHRAN CATAPULT 3
Apr 8, 2008
  manny g
Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe
Union Gap, WA. 98903
“You are Remembered”
Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother”. Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless You for your Sacrifice!!!

Jan 8, 2008
  Bob Ridley
ridleyre@yahoo.com
Older brother
4850 Glacier Highway #B8 Juneau Alaska 99801 United States of America
The love and joy that you shared is dearly missed!
Norman was quite a character and I have so many fun filled memories of the love and joy he brought to all who he had the privilege to make friends with. I am thankful for the way our parents raised us to always respect All people and to treat them as if we always knew them. To be a friend and to build on that friendship. Norman, you touched many hearts and are dearly missed! It's so tragic that you are gone, but not forgotten! I was at school in Chicago and we never had a chance to say good bye! Even now I weep as I write this short note.
Jul 14, 2007
  Daniel Sauceda
texsauce67@gmail.com
Friend/Shipmate (V-4 Division)
1894 Maderia Ave Deltona Florida 32738 U.S.A.
Adios Amigo
Ridley, we were just getting to know you Amigo.

I saw you die that dreadfull morning during flight-ops. Edward McFadden (your crew leader) was the only one that cried for you that morning. Twenty years later I broke down and cried for you Ridley. I think of you almost everyday and I still cry for you. Of all the deaths that I witnessed during my three tours, your death was the one that has stayed with me until now.

After moving to Maryland from Texas, I went to visit you at the "Wall". Just touching your name gave me some kind of comfort.

I wish I had a picture of you but you only lasted eighteen days in our division. I wish I could get in contact with some one from your family, but I feel I'll only be opening a can of worms.

About two years ago a friend of mine from Victoria, Texas (Art Alvarado - President of the Vietnam Veterans of Victoria, Texas Chapter) placed a white cross with your name in your memory for Memorial Day. By doing this, he told me that this is how we will keep the names and memories of all the one that didn't come home alive.

I miss you Ridley....and I know I'll be seeing you again.

Sauce
Sep 22, 2006
  Walter Soboleff
walter_soboleff@admin.state.ak.us
friend
3052 Wood Duck Ave.
Juneau, AK 99802 USA
THANK YOU
Norman.I don't know you, but I do know your brother Bob and Sister Norma Jean, and we all miss you. Thank you so much. A Fellow Seaman Walter A. Soboleff Jr. ex-SK1 USN Juneau, Alaska, USA Tlingit and Haida First Nations
Thursday, July 13, 2006
  J A
THANK-YOU NORMAN
THANK-YOU FOR THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE THAT YOU MADE FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY. R.I.P.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
  Grateful American
American Hero
Thank you AA Ridley for your service to country and ultimate sacrifice. Rest well brave sailor and rest assured that you Sir, are not forgotten.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
  Dennis Lindoff
dalindoff@teleport.com
Schoolmate. Sheldon Jackson High
Thanks Bud, for your service. Dennis MM3 USN Yankee Station Tonkin Gulf 1966-1969
Saturday, April 29, 2006

TRIBUTE FROM MICHAL L. MURPHY


Airman Apprentice Norman Ridley was a member of the aviation fuels division aboard USS CORAL SEA. Aboard carriers, each group of flight deck personnel wear distinctively colored jerseys so that their function can be instantly identified. Ridley was a "grape", called that because of the purple shirts worn by the fuels personnel. The flight deck of an aircraft carrier conducting flight operations is a notoriously hazardous place to be ... rarely is a cruise completed without casualties among the flight deck personnel. Norman Ridley was one such casualty - struck by an aircraft during launch while carrying out his duties. Airman Ridley is remembered by another CORAL SEA sailor - Aviation Ordnanceman Michael L. Murphy of Attack Squadron 153. Murphy was within feet of Airman Ridley when Ridley was struck. His recollections and remembrance follow: Norman Franklin Ridley
DOB 02/03/50
DOC 01/08/69
U.S.S. Coral Sea

I never knew you in life.
We may have passed each other at sometime on the ship or in port and never knew it. We met on the flight deck the day you died. We had just armed the plane on the catapult and were waiting to launch it. For some reason they kept it on the cat for a long time and we started to recover the aircraft from the earlier flight and they started to bunch up on the deck. I kept thinking, "just scrub the damn flight, what the hell different will one more plane make." Then the plane was launched just as you were pulling the fuel hose across the deck. My back was to you and I saw part of your ear protectors and goggles blow down the deck, I knew that something terrible had happened. You were lying on the deck about 20 feet from me. The wing had hit you in the head as the plane was launched. I looked down at you as I walked by. I did not stop, I had planes to de-arm, I just walked by. When I finished my job I went below deck to the ordnance shop and thought about your death. Where was God this day, why did this happen, what purpose did your death accomplish. It happened it was over. Another sacrifice had been made to the "Prince of Death" and it wasn't me. That may sound crass to those who weren't there but I know that you understand. I went down to dinner and on with my life, but I never prayed again. You have never been far from me, sometimes I wonder about what your hopes and dreams were, what you wanted to do in life. At 18 we think we will live forever. In 1979 I cried for you for the first time, I cried again when I went to the Wall in 1987, I was back on the flight deck I could hear the Jets and the Helos, I could smell it, feel it and I could see it. You will be in my memory till the day I die. I only knew you in death. Michael L. Murphy
Attack Squadron 153, Ordnance
U.S.S. Coral Sea
Vietnam 1967, 68, 69

I remember Norman, he was the first airman to die in my department [Air] while on the USS Coral Sea, unsure if I ever met him personally, however his name has stuck with me for the past 40 years since I left the Navy

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