Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded posthumously to southeast NE Lieutenant

ADAMS -- The Nebraska Civil Air Patrol (CAP) will present a Congressional Gold Medal to the family of Lieutenant Norma Adams this Saturday at the Highland Cemetery, west of Adams. (10 am)

In 2014, Congress awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor to all members of the Civil Air Patrol who served during WWII.

Lt. Norma Adams was born north of Adams on August 29, 1924....the daughter of Newell “Pat” and Jennie Adams. The family moved to the Auburn area in 1936.

At the age of 15, Norma began flying lessons at the newly opened Auburn Airport. She graduated from Auburn High School in 1941 and at the age of 17, held her solo pilot license. The family moved back to their farm north of Adams after Norma graduated.   In August of 1942, Norma was employed at the Crete Airport. A Civil Air Patrol squadron started in Crete in March 1942, and Norma joined. She was involved with CAP recruiting missions, mapping and observation flights.

Oct. 7th, 1943, Norma Adams took a test flight with a mechanic on a plane he had been repairing. The plane crashed, and both were tragically killed. Norma’s funeral was conducted by the CAP with 25 uniformed officials and students. Norma was laid to rest in her CAP uniform.

Attending the Saturday ceremony will be Norma’s nieces Wilma Hesser and Lila Bottolfsen; and nephews Les Adams and Clarence Shoemaker. Norma’s great-niece Staff Sargent Erin Carlson, US Air Force and great-nephew Jerry Larmeu Jr, former US Marines, will also be attending. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony.  In case of rain the Saturday ceremony will be held at the Freeman Library in Adams.

Gage County Historical Society Board Member Sheila Day researched and published a story of Norma Adams in the Gage County Historical Society’s newsletter, with assistance from many individuals, including CAP historian Lt. Col. Seth D. Hudson.

You can read the article at

Through research, CAP and Norma’s extended family discovered Norma Adams was eligible to be a joint recipient of CAP’s Congressional Gold Medal. The family plans to gift the medal to the Gage County Museum in Beatrice which is planning a special display.