Veteran of the Month – Corporal Norman C. Southergill

November 5, 2014

  • Name: Norman C. Southergill
  • Date of Birth: June 29, 1924
  • Town: Manchester, CT
  • Military Branch of Service: US Army Combat Engineers
  • Enlisted, Commissioned, or drafted?: Enlisted
  • Service Dates: 3/16/43 – 11/25/45
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Military Job: Working with Combat Engineers to make way for infantry to advance in combat zones; i.e. building roads, building and/or destroying bridges, destroying land mines
  • Duties: Tool room keeper; member of Company A online
  • Unit, Division, Battalion, Group, Ship, Etc.: 150th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • War, Operation, or Conflict served in: World War II
  • Locations of Service: Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Elkins, West Virgina; Fort Dix, New Jersey; Clifton Heath and Swindon, England; Normandy, France; Cancy, Belgium; Czechoslovakia
  • Battles/Campaigns: Twentieth Corps
  • Decorations: 5 Campaign Stars, Purple Heart, Good Conduct
  • Combat or service-related injuries: Both knees injured when hit by a cable which was hit by a mortar shell and snapped back, hitting Southergill across the knees
  • Military Schools/Training: Basic Training at Fort Devens, MA
  • Name of Post: Gildo T. Consolini Post 3272 Avon, CT

Bio/Narrative: Norm Southergill was born in Manchester Connecticut and at the age of 16 tried to enlist in the navy. The year was 1941 and Pearl Harbor was right around the corner. The Navy refused to take him because of his stutter, a tick that developed after his father passed away when Norm was only 12 years old. Norm was eventually able to join the Connecticut State Guard and in March 1943, he and most of his male classmates from Manchester High School Class of ’42 were sent to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, Norm became a member of a new Combat Engineer Battalion, the 150th. Surviving ten months in combat in Europe, he returned home, married his sweetheart Lucy and raised a family. Norm also became a business owner and ran Norm’s Tire Shop on East Main Street for 25 years. He was a founder of the Avon Chamber of Commerce and charter member of the Avon Historical Society. Norm is now retired and living in Farmington, Connecticut. In July 2006 Norm published A Combat Engineer Remembers – a book sharing an account of his life and service during World War II.