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Norman E. "Norm" Allen ( Missoula 1946 )

posted: Jun 5, 2013

Norm, 88, died May 18, 2013, in Thompson Falls, Montana. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and volunteered for the new parachute infantry. He earned a spot in the elite 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which operated independently, with the 82nd Airborne Division and later as part of the 13th Airborne. Norm specialized in reconnaissance and demolitions, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in 1945. He earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star during the war.

Norm jumped at Missoula in 1946-48 and 1950-53, and suffered a broken back during his second refresher jump in 1954; recovery took two years.

He graduated from Black Hills Teachers College in South Dakota in 1951, teaching junior high social studies; Norm took a fire-control job with the U.S. Forest Service in 1961, retiring in 1980. He was also a rancher, and an expert in rawhide braidwork through his Oglala Lakota heritage, developing a rawhide tanning method.