Heroic WWII "Flying Ace" Pilot Laid To Rest - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/02/07- Palestine

Heroic WWII "Flying Ace" Pilot Laid To Rest

"He was a real hero in war and in peace," said Bascom W. Bentley, 349th state district judge.

They came to mourn, to remember, and to celebrate the heroic life of 84-year old Norman Mollard.

"Norman's been part of my family," said Terry Tatum. "He's been a wonderful person, loads of fun. We had some good times. He's the oldest friend I've ever had."

Palestine residents say since a young boy, Norman was destined to be something great. Always a go-getter, always a fighter and a role model to so many.

"Norman touched lives in many ways," said Tatum.  "I've heard a lot of his stories and it's just really sad I didn't get to hear them all."

Those who knew Norman best said he was always humble about telling his stories. About how he bravely shot down six Japanese planes in World War II. Or how after serving his country for 27-years, he rebuilt much of Palestine with his bare hands. A decorated war hero who fought always for the love of his family and his hometown.

"He became a war hero and stayed one in the hearts and minds of everyone who loved Palestine," said Bentley.  "He gave his heart and soul trying to save what he had so nobly defended."

A legend whose heroic stories will be talked about for years to come.

Courtney Lane, Reporting.


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