Robert Norton was born in 1924 and was raised in Birmingham, Michigan, near Detroit. His parents were originally from Vergennes, Vermont, where the Norton family had lived for many years. He joined the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps on November 18, 1942, while a student at Carlton College, and was transferred to active duty on March 13, 1943.
Robert served as a member of the 9th Armored Division, 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion. He was captured on December 20, 1944, during the first days of the Battle of the Bulge and was imprisoned at the Arbeits Kommando at Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, until his liberation on May 7, 1945. He was 20 and held the rank of Private at the time of his capture.
Robert Norton returned to the United States in June of 1945 and was honorably discharged from the army on December 10 as a Corporal. After completing his education he taught history at Aurora College in Illinois. He moved to Vermont in 1962, teaching French at the Shoreham and Shelburne schools and serving as principal at the Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro. He is 80.