Lauris Norstad


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(1907–88) air force officer, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Norstad was the supreme allied commander in Europe from 1956 to 1963. Norstad first achieved distinction during World War II, when his abilities were recognized and tapped by Gens. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Norstad helped plan the North African air campaign and later became director of operations of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (1943), helping plan bombing missions against Axis forces and installations in the Balkans and in Italy. In 1944 he went to Washington where he planned B-29 missions against Japan that preceded the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was named Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) (1952), the only air force officer to achieve that position. As SACEUR Norstad advocated giving NATO increased control over and latitude to use tactical nuclear weapons.


From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.

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