Norman Bussel Bio
Norman Bussel was born in Memphis, Tenn. and currently lives in Mohegan Lake, N.Y. During World War II, he served as a radio operator/gunner on a B-17 bomber. Flying out of Rattlesden, England on April 29, 1944, he was shot down over Berlin with four of his crew losing their lives. He was interned in Stalag Luft IV, at Grosstychow near the Baltic Sea. In February 1945, as Russian troops advanced, he was among the POWs the Germans moved by boxcar to a camp at Nuremberg to avoid liberation. As American forces closed in on Nuremberg, he was then moved to Moosburg, in Bavaria, and ultimately liberated by General Patton's tank corps on April 29, 1945.
Returning home, he attended Memphis State University on the GI Bill and then joined the family supermarket business. In 1965, he entered the publishing field, becoming an Editor at Progressive Grocer Magazine and was later promoted to Profit Center Manager. Later, he joined Supermarket Business magazine as Research Director. In 1980, he and his wife, Melanie, founded Melnor Publishing, Inc., providing the drug store industry with marketing information. Now retired, he has been active for more than 20 years in the Hudson Valley Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War (AXPOW) serving as Trustee, Adjutant and Commander. He has served in the N.Y. State Department of AXPOW as member of the Finance Committee and as delegate to national conventions. He also has held positions in the National organization as Public Relations Director and as committee member. Elected as a Director on the board of the AXPOW Service Foundation in March 2000, he was named Vice President in September 2000 and elected President in 2003. He was also Editor of the Foundation TIMES newspaper. He retired from the Foundation in 2007 to concentrate on his writing.
His book, MY PRIVATE WAR—Liberated Body...Captive Mind, was published in November 2008 by Pegasus Books
In 2004, he and his wife became AXPOW National Service Officers, and maintain office hours at the VA Hospital in Montrose, N.Y., where they assist former POWs, their widows and other veterans in filing claims for service-connected benefits.
On June 19, 2007, Norm Bussel was called to testify before the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. He addressed legislation which would correct an inequity affecting POW widows whose husbands passed away before September 30, 1999.
In September 2009, He was again called to testify before John Hall’s House Subcommittee on legislation which would make it easier for veterans to apply for PTSD benefits.
He was the keynote speaker at the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Veterans’ Day observance in November 2009.
In 2010, he was appointed a member of the National POW Advisory Commission, a 12-member board which meets twice a year and reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His term expired in 2017.
On July 1, 2017, Norm was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the French government for his WWII service