Norman C. Battaglia
Norman Battaglia was flying a T-33 on the night of November 24, 1971, when Flight 305 was hijacked by D.B Cooper. In the book “Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” by Geoffrey Gray, he discusses Battaglia’s role. “To the west, Norman Battaglia, a National Guard flight instructor is on a night training mission in a T-33 reconnaissance fighter plane. The training mission is canceled.
“We want you to tail and aircraft,” an Air Traffic Controller said.
“The one that’s hijacked?”
“That’s the one.””
Norman stayed three-quarters of a mile behind it. Tailing the plane was difficult as Flight 305 was flying at a reduced airspeed and changed course frequently. Due to frequency differences, Battaglia was unable to communicate with Flight 305. He tailed the plane until he ran low on fuel and needed to land.
D.B. Cooper parachuted from Flight 305 with $200,000 of ransom money and parachutes that he had demanded and was never heard from again. Some of the money was found near the Columbia River in 1980.
Sources: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” by Geoffrey Gray; Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper
- 1956-57 Liasion Pilot SAC, 24th SRS, Moses Lake AFB, WA (T-33A)
- 5/1957-7/1957 Fighter Gunnery School, Williams AFB, AZ (F-86F)
- 7/1957-8/ 1957 Flight Training & Gunnery, Nellis AFB, AZ (F-100A)
- 9/1957-3/1960 44th TFS, Kadena AB, Okinawa (F-100D)
- 4/1960-12/1965 Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina (F-100D)
- 2/1966-12/1970 123 FIS, ORANG, Portland IAP, Oregon (F-102A)
- 6/1970-3/1973 Instrument Flight Instructor, 142d FIG, ORANG, Portland IAP, OR (T-33A)/
- 3/1973-9/1981 Chief Current Plans 153d TACC, ORANG, Portland IAP, OR (T-33A IP)
- 10/1/1981 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
Military & Civilian Education
- Jet Pilot School class 55R
- T-6G Malden, MO
- T-33A Laredo, TX
- BA Political Science, Willamette, University; Salem, Oregon