Brooklyn in Kings County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Thomas F Norton
1947 - 1968
Erected by Knights of Columbas Flatbush Council No. 497.
Location. 40° 37.338′ N, 73° 56.039′ W. Marker is in Brooklyn, New York, in Kings County. Marker is at the intersection of Flatlands Avenue and East 40th Street on Flatlands Avenue. Click for map. Located on the grounds of The Knights of Columbus Flatlands Council No. 497. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3915 Flatlands Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11234, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert J Crawford (here, next to this marker); The Kings Highway (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dutch Reformed Church of Flatlands (approx. 0.2 miles away); Father Kehoe Triangle (approx. 0.2 miles away); John J. Fraser (approx. 0.4 miles away); Marine Major Eugene McCarthy (approx. 0.6 miles away); Floyd Bennett Post # 1060 (approx. ¾ mile away); Hendrick I. Lott House (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brooklyn.
Also see . . . Pvt Norton Playground. A playground was named in honor of Private Thomas Francis Norton (1947-1968), a Brooklyn native whose life was cut short in the Vietnam War (1964-1975). Norton was stationed there from 1967 until his death in 1968. During that period of time, the war reached a turning point when full scale combat became the norm, and heavy casualties ensued.
Born in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn, Norton attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School on Flatbush Avenue. In 1961 he enrolled at Madison High School. Norton was a talented football player and chose to play for the Titans, a team sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. He attended high school for an additional year in order to meet the requirements of both his team and his school. The son of a Parks Department employee and a seasonal Parks employee himself, Norton enlisted in the army in his 20th year.
Thomas Norton had worked for Parks during the summers. His father, William Norton, worked as a Senior Supervisor of Park Operations with Parks and served as President of the Uniformed Park Officers Association during the 1960s. Thomas Norton received his high school diploma in 1966, enlisted in the Army and in 1967 was sent to Vietnam. In the following year, on April 22, 1968, Private Norton was killed in action in the province of Binh Duong in South Vietnam. Posthumously, Private Norton was promoted to the rank of Private First Class (PFC) and was awarded both the Silver and Bronze Stars in addition to the Purple Heart. His name appears on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. on panel 51E, Line 32. In the years following, a tree was planted in Central Park and a memorial placed in Marine Park in his honor.
PFC Norton Playground, located on Nostrand Avenue, just south of Kings Highway (approximately one mile south of this marker), was acquired by Parks on June 6, 1940. In 1969, Acting Commissioner William R. Ginsburg renamed the park for PFC Norton. The ceremony featured speakers from the County Headquarters of the American Legion and Fort Hamilton. Attendees included members from the Brooklyn chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Knights of Columbus. (Submitted on May 7, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
1. Added his name
I made sure my cousins name made the memorial for the NYC men and women killed in VM which is at the 55 Water Street "Friends of VM Memorial" in NYC. I lived next door to Tommy, he was my first cousin. I think of him often and miss what could have been. Roger Norton
— Submitted June 12, 2009, by Roger Norton of Miller Place, New York.
Categories. • 20th Century • War, Vietnam •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York. This page has been viewed 943 times since then and 110 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on , by Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Picture of the Norton Memorial in Marine Park. • Picture of Norton Memorial Tree in Central Park. • Can you help?