INDIANAPOLIS WORLD WAR II ROUNDTABLE - ERNIE PYLE CHAPTER
"Norris adds some wonderful humor to his books. He has so many accomplishments and I am honored to know him and learn from him." - Jill Fewell, Indianapolis WWII Roundtable Board Member
About The Author
NORRIS MILTON ARCHER
Mr. Archer’s lifetime achievements include:
After retirement Mr. Archer continued to serve on numerous Federal, State and local Government committees dealing with Civil Rights legislation and labor rates. In the year 2006 Norris began his writing career in earnest, authoring stories about his life experiences and now is working on Book number 20. Norris was among the first group of Indiana Veterans of WW II to be taken to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. by the Indianapolis Honor Flight. Last, but not least, he is a Scottish Rite Mason in the Indianapolis Valley.
In the year 2013, Norris co-authored the book entitled “The Ben Davis Centennial” with his wife Margaret. It was accepted by the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, Marion County Indiana for its historical value and copies were distributed to all educational facilities in the district.
In 2009, Mr. Archer authored the book “Chief Belzer’s Camp Chank-tun-un-gi.” He was crowned a Minisino, the highest and most honored rank within the Indianapolis Boy Scout District, during closing ceremonies of the 2014 Camping Season at the Boy Scout Camp at Indianapolis. On January 3, 2015, the author was the Key Note Speaker at the Midwinter meeting for the organization of Firecrafters and delivered his talk entitled “Leadership, One Step at a time”. His book on Scouting sold out quickly and it concluded with a lengthy standing ovation.
Of the 20 books now complete, 8 are registered by the U.S. Copyright Office and filed at the Library of Congress. Seven books have received the “International Standard Book Number” with Bar Codes and are ready for Public sale .The author’s plans for the future, at age 91, include writing his book of poems and up-dating some of the earlier writings.
“Where are you Going, Soldier”, is Book #1
This story encompassed three years away from home as a soldier during World War II. About 20 copies were printed off, had them spiral bound and made them available to members of the author’s old army unit the 52nd Combat Engineer Battalion Company ‘C’. Several notables that were associates of my son David requested a copy of this book and voluntarily submitted their letters praising the book and saying many things a new author likes to hear. That was only a beginning as now my appetite was whetted and work was started on my ‘Auto-biography’. Near the end of the book are stories about the Battle Ships of World War II, the Liberty Ships, Landing Craft and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb.
“What Has Happened to my World”, Book # 2
It begins in 1929 as a ‘Kindergarten’ student and continues until my first marriage comes to a conclusion in 1975. I took up flying and as a pilot had many experiences that were exciting and interesting. The book contains many short stories as the author never stands still for any length of time. The current events of the 1930 period along with many changes in life style that may have been forgotten by many people are included. After three years in the military, which are covered in the book, “Where are you going, Soldier”, I returned to civilian life.
“No Strings Attached”, is Book #3
It finds me as a ‘Bachelor’ deeply involved in a love affair that becomes a marriage and it sees me through ten years of employment at the Indianapolis International Airport and later going to the City of Indianapolis in the Legal Division. Somehow there was time to earn a ‘BA Degree’ and try my hand mixing with the Politian’s. It is a very active time period in my life and includes my new wife Margaret at every turn in the road. While on a cruise in the Caribbean we toured Haiti and visited the Citadel while on horseback. As the book ends I am retiring from the City Legal position at age 60 and intend to pursue private business.
“Retirement and Then Some”, is Book #4
It follows Margaret and me as we go from one opportunity to another chasing the ‘Almighty dollar’. In the beginning I continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Martin University and active on several Government Committees. From there it is Real Estate, Multi-level Marketing and traveling across the country attending conventions and seminars. All is not peaches and cream as we make our share of boo-boos and bad decisions. We became deeply involved in the 1987 Pan American Games at Indianapolis and near the end of the book we once again Cruise the Caribbean stopping to see the ‘Panama Canal’ and a few South American Countries. At one time I thought I was done with writing books and became interested in Genealogy. That idea only led me to doing two more books that each included a section on Ancestors and Descendants.
“Margaret’s Side of the Story”, is Book #5
It was originally written with the purpose of telling the true story concerning her divorce from her first husband and the marriage to me, his Brother. Also, after writing book four, I felt that it was fitting to do a biography on Margaret, my present wife. When researching her family history I discovered a considerable amount of data that was not generally know throughout the family today. For that reason the final chapter is a study of her ancestors and their descendants. This book relates many of the experiences also told in the book, “No Strings Attached”.
“I Knew Louise”, is Book # 6
It is a Biography of my first wife of 33 years, Louise Melcene Hymer. It begins when we first met in Grade School and concludes with her death in December of 2000. While married to me her name was said to be the same as her Great Grand Mother’s maiden name, Louisa Melcini Archer. This inspired me to research the census records to construct her family tree. The family of the mother of Louise, Ethel May Ax, was traceable all the way back to Germany and Ireland and made for a very lengthy report. An additional effort was made to learn the true identity of Louise’s Grand Father, James Hymer. In 1977 Louise married, William (Bill) Henry Wolsifer a distant relative.
“Chief Belzer’s, Camp Chank-tun-un-gi”, Book # 7
I was so proud of achieving the rank of ‘Eagle Scout’ that when I learned of the 100th Birthday of the founding of ‘The Boy Scouts of America’, I wanted to get into the act and tell about my five years as a member. The book goes into detail as to the Scout Oath, Laws and general history. It contains many pictures taken within the reservation; basically, it takes the reader through a day at camp and explains the requirements for many of the badges. Singing started every day and the lyrics to the more popular songs are in the book. Near the end of the final chapter you will find a brief biography of the Chief and Founder of the camp, Mr. F. O. Belzer. The book was forwarded to the Boy Scout National Headquarters in Texas and also to the Cross Roads of America Counsel at Indianapolis. A Copyright Registration Certificate was received in 2009, and filed in the Library of Congress.
“When the Robin Sings”, is Book # 8
It was written as a tribute to my Mother, Allyne Marie Johnson Archer, after her passing I received several boxes containing memorabilia she had collected. Among the scads of photographs, news paper clippings and old letters, I came across the original copy of a poem Mom and I jointly created for an assignment I had while in the 5th grade of school. At that time it was entitled, “Spring’s Messenger”, however I later changed it to ‘When the Robin Sings’. Tearfully I read and re-read the little poem and then came to memory all of the poems that she had cherished during her life of nearly 96 years. They were all there, many written by James Whitcomb Riley. Mom’s family history is integrated from the very beginning and near the end of the book is a section devoted to Mom’s ancestors and descendants covering 6 generations.
“My Scrap Book of Short Stories”, is Book # 9
It contains about 25 separate stories found in the books I have previously written. There isn’t much else to say about the ninth book with the exception that I want you to be sure and read my story, “The Day Little Boy Blew”. It is a World War II story and a new twist to the dropping of the ‘Atomic Bomb’ on the Japanese home land. Additionally, my review of the Battle Ships that were damaged at Pearl Harbor and how they finished the war may surprise you. Peace time events include a favorite story of mine ‘Aint Got No Wind’. I nearly met my maker in this story; however, I’ll save the rest for you to read.
“Ancestors & Descendants” of Norris Milton Archer, Book #10
It was difficult to get family members, other than my oldest son, interested in reading about ‘Genealogy’. Seeing it involved hundreds of hour of research and formatting I thought there might be some interested soul that was curious about their ancestors, or descendants of ancestors such as Aunts’, Uncles’, Cousins’ and so forth. To me it appeared to be very logical to roll all of my data into one volume. My greatest problem with this book was my last step and that is the ‘INDEX’. The index is a 32 page alphabetical listing; the page numbers, where information on the subject person appears, follows the name.
“The Hoosier Fly Boy”, Book #11
As a boy I was fascinated with the idea of flying and things that flew. It went from balloons to kites to model airplanes; then there were my hero pilots and their planes. World War 2 brought a whole new fleet of war birds and I included the ones that touched my life. Then I started pilot training and that led to telling about some of my follies and experiences as a pilot. Jet engines and rockets saw adventures into space and man walked on the moon. Toward the end of the book I found myself as an executive at the Indianapolis Airport; later on I associated with the Confederate Air Force that was headquartered at Harlingen Texas. Pictures of many of the planes now retired are included.
“The Day Little Boy Blew”, Book # 12
This story has been told previously in the books, ‘WHERE ARE YOU GOING, SOLDIER’ and “THE HOOSIER FLY BOY’ however, this copy has had pictures added, larger font and easy to read in a short period of time. A little different approach to the Atomic bomb dropped on Japan. It is an excellent tool for educating children as to the events associated with the dropping of the atomic bombs ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’.
“My Favorite Ships & Boats of WW II” Book #13
During World War II I was outside the country for nearly 18 months, most of it was aboard ship as I was part of an amphibious unit of Army Engineers. I was fascinated with Ships of all types and sailed throughout the South and Western Pacific Oceans on troop carriers. Battleships, Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and Landing Boats were part of my world. The Cruiser USS Indianapolis was my hero of the Pacific War. The book includes 25 picture pages of many of my favorite Ships and boats.
“The House on Franklin Road”, Book #14
My story about the House on Franklin Road first appeared in a miniature version in my second book, “What has happened to my World”, then again in my book of “Short Stories”. Many favorable comments led me to editing the story and adding many interesting items that had not been included in the original version. Basically, “The house on Franklin Road” is a story that takes place in rural Franklin Township of Marion County Indiana. Two little boys age 6 and 8 experience nature, practicality and life as it really is over a period of 5 years. It is printed in large font, easy to read and about 40 pages. Adults as well as children will enjoy hearing the things the two little Archer boys did when they lived on Franklin Road.
“The Ben Davis Centennial”, Book #15
In 1979 the author and his wife Margaret, orchestrated the 100th birthday party for a small community on the west side of Indianapolis known as Ben Davis. Memorabilia from that event suggested it was time to put it into some kind of order so we decided to make it into a book. The book has been nicknamed, “The Purple Book” because of its striking cover. Not only is it a lesson in history that tells how the area got its name but also a complete account of all of the activities that took place during the week long celebration of the Centennial. The book is a helpful guide on ‘how to do it’, for anyone planning a public celebration. Details concerning the incorporation of the Ben Davis Centennial Committee Inc, organizational structure and utilization of local talent, lists hundreds of citizens that made the entire program a success. The book contains 175 pages, over 50,000 words and 60 picture pages.
“Landing Ships and Boats”, Book #16
Many of the high ranking leaders of World War II have said that the Higgins Landing Craft, the LST’s and other similar amphibious creations, that could land troops and their equipment on an open beach and go back and pick them up if necessary, may have won the war. After being defeated in a landing attempt on the coast of France in the early days of the war, Sir Winston Churchill approached the United States with his plea to build such craft. Having had that experience, and it is one that still lives in my memory, I want to share it with the world of enthusiastic readers of WW II books. Landings similar to the ones pictured in this small book were common place through-out the Pacific and most other parts of the world where invasions were taking place.
“The Ben Davis Monument”, Book 17
At the onset of the Ben Davis Centennial in 1979, a newly formed Memorial Committee committed to erecting a memorial in honor of their Pioneer Ancestors of the area with special recognition given to a Rail Roader who authorized the train stop and the building of a freight dock, whose name was Benjamin Davis. It was a seemingly simple process; however, it met with several unplanned obstacles before it found its final resting place. The Author has told the story as it actually happened and has documented each step along the way with pictures, letters and Newspaper articles of the day. It very aptly portrays the history of the 1879 period in the area.
“The History of the BSA”, Book #18
This book is a collection of research papers found in the files of Norris Archer; however, he is not the author. Such papers are best preserved for future reference in book form. After becoming an Eagle Scout in 1939, this writers concerns and interest never lessened for the Boy Scouts of America. Starting as far back as 1980 I occasionally visited the present day Camp Belzer that had been called Camp Chank-tun-un-gi in my day as a Scout. My interest was rekindled and I wrote this book about my experiences at the old camp in the 1930s. It found favor with many of the present day leaders. Gradually my presence in scouting circles became more frequent and I was crowned a Minisino at the camp in 2014. I compiled my research papers into a bound volume as I wanted a handy source for referencing the dates various things occurred and tracing the recorded changes in the scouting administrative ways of doing thing. Additionally I wanted to remind myself of the original objectives set out by the articles of incorporation in 191
“The Inaugural Indy Honor Flight”, Book #19
Early in the year of 2012, I met a gentleman at the WW II Round Table by the name of Grant Thompson. That meeting netted me an invitation to see the World War II Memorial at Washington DC as a guest of the newly formed Indy Honor Flight. I was escorted through-out the day by my oldest son David Archer, a retired Colonel from the US Army. The flight landed at Baltimore, we loaded into late model tour buses and in a short time we arrived near the Obelisk and large pond with the Lincoln Memorial at the far end. In the late afternoon I was escorted to Arlington Cemetery where my son Robert was laid to rest after 38 years of service as A Navy Captain. It was an exciting day for an 89 year old Veteran of WW II that ended with a Heroes reception at the Indiana National Guard Armory at Indianapolis.
“Ole Dad’s Book of Poems”, Book #20
It seems as though I have been writing poems all my life as my first experience at it began in the fourth grade when I wrote a four liner called, “Springs Messenger”. Some of them may sound a bit childish or possibly even somewhat corny. Never the less they have been included as part of this book. Every now and then a happening of one sort or another impresses me to the point where I feel the urge to pick up my pen and jot down a few rhyming words. Along with my poems are those of others that have lodged themselves in my memory and are considered to be my favorites. At the present time this book is not finished; however it will eventually find its place on “Ole Dad’s Book Shelf. My Mother’s book of poems were used in this book as a reminder of her love for poetry and to share with others the works of many forgotten poets.
“Ole Dad’s Poems”, Book # 21
This is a small book of only 39 pages. It contains all of the poems written by the author and included as part one of book #20.
Where History and Heroes Meet
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“Ole Dads Shelf of Books”
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Whitestown, IN 46075
NORRIS MILTON ARCHER, Author
“Ole Dad’s Shelf of Books”
In the year 2003, the author was incapacitated after he fell on icy pavement and fractured his right hip. Now he not only had an artificial hip joint but it shared the stage with two knee joints that came along about the same time. Being confined to the cabin he was hard up for something useful to occupy his time. For some time his wife Margaret, along with two sons, David and Robert, urged him to open up about World War II and put his stories in print. Son Robert sent a hand-me-down computer and his brother David cleaned off all the old data and made it ready for war.
You will find out about his experiences while following General McArthur through the Pacific in World War II as an amphibious soldier; however, that was only the beginning of his career as an author. Writing about the war years brought back to mind other instances in life that had an aire of excitement about them, so he continued to write using his biography as the target. He is presently a bit over 91 years old and still finds time to sit at the key board a few hours each day adding a page or two to the twenty volumes that now occupy “Ole Dad’s Shelf” of Books
Writing the books was not the end of the story as with the help of his wife Margaret, who was a book binder by trade, they self published over a thousand copies of his writings. A Xerox Work Center printer, that was a gift from a friend of the family, has served as the brawn of the print shop. They now have worn out three computers, the Xerox is backed up by a Canon and an Epson printer and two binding machines, a Comb Binder and the latest addition is a Fellowes Thermal Binder.
Norris M. Archer, the author replied, when ask about the self publishing aspect of the book business, “I started out in life as a Blacksmith and never thought I’d end up as a printer”.
Price List for Books by Norris Milton Archer
Book #1, “Where Are You Going, Soldier,” $25.00
Book #2, “What Has Happened to my World,” $29.00
Book #3, “No Strings Attached,” $25.00
Book #4, “Retirement and then Some,” $25.00
Book #5, “Margaret’s Side of the Story,” $25.00
Book #6, “I Knew Louise,” $25.00
Book #7, “Chief Belzer’s Camp Chank-tun-un-gi,” $25.00
Book #8, “When the Robin Sings,” $29.00
Book #9, “My Scrap Book of Short Stories,”25.00
Book #10, “Ancestors & Descendants of N. M. Archer,” $29.00
Book #11, “The Hoosier Fly Boy,” $25.00
Book #12, “The Day Little Boy Blew,” $15.00
Book #13, “My Favorite Ships and Boats of WW II,” $25.00
Book #14, “The House on Franklin Road,” $15.00
Book #15, “The Ben Davis Centennial,” $29.00
Book #16,”Landing Boats and Ships,” $15.00
Book #17, “The Ben Davis Monument,” $15.00
Book #18, “The History of the BSA, $25.00
Book #19, “The Inaugural Indy Honor Flight”, $17.50
Book #20, “Ole Dad’s Book of Poems”, $20.00
Book #21, “Ole Dad’s Poems”, $15.00