DELBRIDGE Major General NORMAN GEORGE DELBRIDGE, USA (Ret.) Died on July 30, 2010 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from gastric cancer. He was 82. Gen. Delbridge was born in Detroit, Michigan, on January 4, 1928, the son of Norman G. Delbridge and Eleanor Meyers Delbridge. After graduation from Cooley High School, he attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan for one year of engineering studies, then enlisted in the U.S. Army. Fresh out of Officer Candidate School, 2nd Lieutenant Delbridge was assigned to Berlin to command a shift of workers building runways at Templehof and Tegel airfields to expand their landing capacities for the Berlin Airlift. Very little heavy machinery was available, so General Lucius D. Clay put out an appeal for civilian workers in Berlin. Thousands (men and women in almost equal numbers) responded by volunteering to work for a minimal wage plus one hot meal a day. At the peak of the activity, some 17,000 people worked three shifts a day. Eventually heavy equipment was brought in by cutting down machinery to fit in an airplane and welding it together after arrival. Lieutenant Delbridge resigned his commission and left Berlin in 1949 in order to accept an appointment as a cadet at West Point, where he graduated in 1953. He also earned a Masters in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University in 1957, was a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, and the Executive Program at Harvard University. He was a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Iowa. He served in the 10th Engineer Battalion of the 3d Infantry Division in Korea (1954) and with the Corps of Engineers in Ankara, Turkey (1960-63). He was Operations Officer of the 937th Engineer Group at Fort Campbell, KY (1963-66) before serving in a similar capacity in the Engineer Section of I Field Force in Vietnam (1966-67). He subsequently commanded the 4th Engineer Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division there (1967). After returning to the U.S., MG Delbridge held several management positions in the office of the Army''s Office of the Chief of Research and Development (1969-72). He then served under the Chief of Engineers as Pittsburgh District Engineer (1972-75), Europe Division Engineer (1976-78), South Pacific Division Engineer (1978-80), and Assistant Chief of Engineers (1980-84). He concluded his military career by serving as Deputy Chief of Engineers and retired in 1986 after 36 years of Army service. In the Construction Industry, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, as President of the California Debris Commission, on the board of Directors of the American Public Works Association, and as a member of the Coastal Engineering Research Board, the Transportation Research Board, and with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Construction and the Moles, a national fraternity of the heavy construction industry. His military decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and decorations from the Vietnam, Korean Wars and the Berlin Air Lift. Following his retirement from the Army, Gen. Delbridge worked with the Spectrum Group and served on the Executive Board of Hardwire, LLC, a company developing next generation armor for military and homeland security applications. He was passionate in his effort to protect American servicemen and women from harm and worked on this mission up until his passing. He resided in his beloved country home in Lovettsville, VA with his wife of 53 years, Margaret McClure Drane. The family includes two sons, Norman Scott Delbridge of Longwood, Florida and David McClure Delbridge of Incline Village, Nevada, and one grandchild. Funeral services will be held in the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel at 11 a.m. December 1, 2010 followed by burial will full Military Honors in Arlington National Cemetery.Funeral services will be held in the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel at 11 a.m. December 1, 2010 followed by burial will full Military Honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
Published by The Washington Post on Aug. 22, 2010.