Major Ronald Henry Douglas Norman who had served with 3 PARA was killed on 4 May 1963, when the Belvedere Helicopter XG473 he was travelling in crashed near Long Merarap in the Trusan Valley, Sarawak. There were no survivors.
The Pegasus Journal July 1963.
MAJOR R. H. D. NORMAN, M.B.E., M.C.
THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT
RONALD NORMAN will be remembered to those who served with him in The Parachute Regiment first and foremost as being an exceptional man-a friendly though rather quiet, shy and unduly modest man with a love of adventure, a great sense of fun and a desire always to see that justice was done; a family man devoted to his wife and five children to whom every member of the Regiment now offers his deepest sympathy.
As a soldier he shone as a leader-a personal leader. He was at his best when leading a group of men which was not too large-he would want to know and understand each one of them really well. He was -par excellence -the captain of "a small ship", the leader of a gruelling, hazardous expedition overcoming hardship and danger. This was his metier; this was how he spent most of his Army service; this was probably how he would have liked it to continue. The qualities that made him this were no new ones; they were those that always have produced, and probably always will produce, fine leaders among men of action. But Ronald Norman possessed them to a higher degree than almost any other man we can think of; we have often discussed and agreed about this. His example was inspiring; his enthusiasm was unbounded and infectious; his loyalty to causes and people he believed in was profound. He was a dedicated leader devoid, so far as we could judge, of any personal interest or ambition as such; his courage-both moral and physical-seemed unshakeable. His loss with Harry Thompson and John Connington, who had both at various times served with distinction in The Parachute Regiment, when their helicopter crashed last May in Sarawak, is a great blow to the Army and a shattering one to their many friends.
The traditions of The Parachute Regiment were to a great extent built up by outstanding examples of personal leadership in special operations during the Second World War when the Regiment was founded. Ronald Norman first joined The Parachute Regiment from The Somerset Light Infantry in 1948 with a considerable war record and a Military Cross won while with the Indian Army in South East Asia. His fine example of leadership has done more than just carry on an existing tradition. All members and ex-members of the Regiment who served with Ronald Norman will always retain a most vivid memory of him; his influence will be felt in the Regiment for many years to come, relayed on to newcomers who did not know him by those who did; he has indeed helped to found a great tradition.
by Wendy GeorgeRead More