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A Life of Passion

 
Sometimes in doing research, a researcher makes an error that is not caught until after publication.  Luckily, this site has been able to receive and make corrections because often, family members, who are in the best position to recognze errors in biographical details, find that a researcher has either reversed something or made an error of identification.  In the case of Norman Hendrickson, the following e-mail was received:
 
Hi,

The report regarding Norman E. Hendrickson confuses father and son.
The red flag is; how would a 17 year old become a colonel and chief of
staff during WWII. My father, who's picture is shown, was a naval
cadet in training during the war. His father, my grandfather, was the
chief of staff of the 34th Army and the person who formed and first
led the Viking division aka the MN National Guard.

Thank you for the tribute but I thought you should know.

Here is the info regarding my grandfather:
HENDRICKSON, NORMAN EVERARD
MAJOR GEN   US ARMY
WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II
DATE OF BIRTH: 05/18/1894
DATE OF DEATH: 01/02/1963
 
 
So, what is listed below is on the recruit, not the Chief of Staff of the 34th Army.
 
Norman E Hendrickson was born January 18, 1925 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1943, a 17-year-old Hendrickson enlisted in the US Navy and served and was sent off to flight school where his love for piloting and engineering flourished, the skills he gained during his training allowed his to serve as an aviation cadet during World War II and the Korean War. As a Brigadier General, Hendrickson served as Chief of Staff for the 34th Infantry Division during the North African and Italian campaigns. Hendrickson's love for innovation thrived long after his honorable discharge; he continued to share his expertise throughout his life.
 
The threat of war from Europe and the Far East induced the semblance of the Minnesota National Guard and thus the 34th Infantry Division in 1941. The 34th Infantry Division earned the nickname the "Red Bull" Division, which recognizes the harsh training conditions that were endured at Camp Cody, New Mexico in 1917, where soldiers prepared for their deploy to Europe. The Red Bull is present on the division's symbol, which features the Red Bull on a Mexican water flask. The motto of the division is "Attack! Attack! Attack!" which exemplifies the intense nature of the divisions combat operations; the division is understood to have amassed 517 days of continuous front line combat during World War II, more than any other division in the European theater.  The 34th Infantry Division fought through six major army campaigns in Italy and North Africa, where men of Minnesota's 175th Artillery notably fired the first American shells against the Nazis.
 
Hendrickson's extensive experience as an affiliate of the Minnesota National Guard earned him the position as the division's first commander. This occupation forced him to confront the responsibility of creating a new division from scratch. After the war, Hendrickson attended the University of Minnesota and briefly worked as a dispatcher for Northwest Airlines. He engendered a fruitful career as a civil engineer; his aircraft experience assisted him well in his business pursuits, which gave him the pleasure of introducing people of all ages to the extraordinary piloting experience. His engineering expertise allowed him to advance to the position as Senior Vice President at Short-Helliot-Endrickson. After he earned a mechanic license and an inspection certificate, he joined the Commemorative Air Force where he assisted the effort to maintain the CAF aircraft at South St. Paul and San Diego. His work also greatly influenced the restoration of the only replica of Charles Lindbergh's plane.
 
During his retirement, Hendrickson spent his spare time at airfields, he was always willing to provide help and encouragement towards his life passions, engineering and piloting. Hendrickson deceased at age 81 on October 31, 2006 in San Diego, California; he is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


8879475_11052006_1.jpg
Norman E. Hendrickson


34id2.gif
The motto of the 34th Infantry Division


punrr.gif
The"Red Bull", the symbol of the 34th Infantry Division


"History of the 34th Infantry Division."
         Minnesota National Guard . N.p., 10 May 2010. Web. 28 May 2010. 
<http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/units/34id/history.php>.  
 "Norman E. Hendrickson, Jr." Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. N.p., n.d. Web.
         27 May 2010.      
<http://www.mnaviationhalloffame.org/HoFPages/hofH1.html>.
          
"Norman E. Hendrickson." Star Tribune.
         N.p., 5 Nov. 2006. Web. 26 May 2010. <http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/startribune/obituary.aspx?n=norman-e-hendrickson&pid=19865791>.
"Obituaries-11/5/2006." North County Times. N.p., 5 Nov. 2006. Web.
         28 May 2010.      
<http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_ea7a1a5d-9106-513a-b14f-fdb2b29ee16a.html>.
          
"The 34th 'Red Bull' Infantry Division."
         Minnesota National Guard . N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 26 May 2010.
         
<http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/units/unit_template.php?unit=punrr>.