An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Norman L. Callish was born in San Jose, Calif., in 1906. He attended Oregon State College; Loyola University, Los Angeles, Calif.; and the University of California at Los Angles.

He entered pilot training in 1933 and attended flying schools at both Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas. He graduated on Oct. 14, 1934, and was assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group at March Field, Calif., to pilot Martin B-12 bombers.

In the fall of 1935, while assigned to Hamilton Field, Calif., as a B-12 pilot, he was commissioned a second lieutenant. After a short tour of duty at Hamilton he was transferred to Hawaii for a two-year tour. Reassigned to Kelly Field, he became a flight instructor in the attack section. Now a first lieutenant, he was transferred to the bombardment section to instruct in B-18s, A-17s, and Keystone bombers.

Other assignments followed at Stockton, Mather, and Moffett fields, all in California. While at Moffett he served on the staff of the assistant chief of staff for operations and training, West Coast Air Corps Training Center.

General Callish was promoted to captain in 1941, and rose through the ranks of both major and lieutenant colonel in 1942. During the same year he became the assistant chief of staff, A-3, for the Western Flying Training Command, and in 1943 he received his promotion to full colonel.

In 1944 he became chief of the pilot section, A-3, Air Training Command headquarters, Fort Worth, Texas.

In August 1945 he became a group commander in the 313th Bombardment Wing on Tinian Island. In March 1946 he moved with the 313th to Clark Field in the Philippines. In April 1947 the 313th was deactivated, and General Callish was moved to Okinawa where he became A-3 for the 1st Air Division.

He returned to the United States in November 1947 and entered the Armed Forces Staff College from which he graduated in June 1948. He was then assigned as deputy chief, Special Services Branch, Personnel Services Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In July 1949 he became chief of the Enlisted Assignments Division, Deputy Chief of Staff/Personnel at Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

In July 1952 the general entered the National War College which he completed a short time before receiving his next assignment as commander of Ellington Air Force Base, July 21, 1953. He commanded Ellington, a navigator-training base, for five years. In August 1958 he took command of another navigator training installation, Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas.

He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in May 1959, and the following August he became commander of Mather Air Force Base and the 3535th Navigator Training Wing which operates the U.S. Air Force's only advanced radar-navigation-bombardment school.

The general is an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee. He participates in community enterprises involving the military, and is a frequent speaker at service club and civic meetings. He participates in community enterprises involving the military, and is a frequent speaker at service clubs and civic meetings. He is a member of the Episcopal Church.

Decorations and Medals

Commendation Ribbon, Philippine Independence Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Japanese Occupation Meal, Air Force Commendation Ribbon.

(Current as of November 1959)