Norman James Stewart
the early years
Norman J. Stewart grew up in Farmington, Michigan. He graduated from Farmington High School in 1943. His family, which consisted of little brother Jerry, father Foster, and mother Harriet, attended the Farmington First United Methodist Church.
Edward A. Dick was a childhood family friend of Norman. While Norman enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces just after graduation in 1943, Edward was drafted into the U.S. Army in the fall. Edward served in the 114th Infantry Regiment, 44th Division in France. The two families remained close friends throughout the war. During the war both families moved to California.
Henry Ford's Willow Run Bomber plant was just miles from where Stewart attended school. The Bomber plant made B-24 bombers in about an hour using an assembly line method. Farmington locals worked at the Bomber plant and other factories in the Detroit area producing war materials. Stewart knew some of these locals, such as his former junior high school principal who resigned his job in education to take a position at the Willow Run bomber plant.