He may not be jumping out of a plane into a live battle field like he did in 1943, but Norman Anderson is set to serve his country again on Anzac Day.April 24, 2013 1:00pm
The 95-year-old Shepparton resident was one of 31 Australian para-gunners who made their only parachute jump at Nadzab, New Guinea during the World War II.
Mr Anderson served frontline as a gun layer in the 2/4th Field Regiment — part of the 7th Division.
In 2013, Mr Anderson is the only living member of the para-gunner group.
The second-longest surviving member of the group, Herbert Arthur ‘‘Bert’’ Gribben, died at the age of 94 in 2011.
Mr Anderson laid a wreath at Mr Gribben’s funeral in Numurkah.
Mr Anderson is now set to lead the World War II Army contingent at the Anzac Day commemoration march in Melbourne.
He said he felt honoured to be taking part in the march and would be thinking of his comrades on the day.
‘‘They were fantastic fellows,’’ Mr Anderson said.
His wife Meryl, 88, is extremely proud of her husband’s selection.
‘‘I don’t think it’s sunk in for him yet,’’ she said.
The Dunkirk Ave fish and chip shop near the couple’s home also recognises Mr Anderson as a hero.
‘‘They say, ‘Here comes our legend’,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
‘‘Then they come and open the door for him.’’
The great-grandfather received 10 medals for his service with the army between 1940 and 1945.
This includes medals for service in New Guinea, Borneo and Syria.
The Andersons have lived in Shepparton for 60 years and recalled the population when they moved to the area as being just 7000 people.
Although the original house has been replaced, the couple still lives on the property they settled on six decades ago.
The Anzac Day Commemoration March will be held on Thursday, April 25. The march will start at 9 am sharp at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders Sts, Melbourne and will proceed along Swanston St and St Kilda Rd to the Shrine of Remembrance.
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