Norm was born in Marlborough, MA. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 14, 1942. Following Basic Training at Pope Field, North Carolina, his first assignment was with the 103rd Observation Squadron. After six months, he transferred to the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and remained with it until the end of the war.
His military locations and stations included: Kanchrapara, Kharagpur, Ondel, and Chekulia, India; Kunming, Kweilin, Changsha, Chihkiang, Liuchow, Kweiyang, Suichwan, Loahwangping, Luliang, Chengkung, and Suhpusien, China.
Collette was discharged on Nov. 10, 1945 as a corporal at Fort Devens, MA. His awards included the Chinese Defense Medal and the CBI Ribbon. He returned to his hometown of Spencer, MA and worked for fourteen years as a route salesman for a milk company and then worked twenty-two years as an agent for Prudential Insurance Company until his retirement in 1980.
Read about his hazardous mission.