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Knodt contributed to Vietnam War archives

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Knodt contributed to  Vietnam War archives

Norm Knodt was an Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

Photo contributed/

POSTED August 26, 2013 12:32 a.m.

Norm Knodt’s recollections of his service in Vietnam are being incorporated into The Vietnam Center and Archive collection at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

The Manteca resident traveled to the center founded in 1989 by a group of Vietnam veterans to use their experiences in Vietnam in a positive way. The result was a collaboration with the university to create a center that is gleaning input from all involved in Vietnam from soldiers and the Vietnamese themselves who immigrated to America to anti-war protestors. The goal is to have the unfiltered information in one place so future historians can do research and hopefully provide a greater understanding of the experience.

The Vietnam Center also seeks to provide a forum for all points of view and for all topics relating to Indochina, particularly — but not limited to — the American military involvement there ‘

Knodt arrived in Vietnam in 1968 right before the Tet Offensive. His rank when he departed Vietnam in 1970 was Chief Warrant Officer 4.

Most of the interviews are conducted over the phone after participants are mailed a 12-page questionnaire. Knodt noted you are not required to answer all questions. Knodt opted to fly to Lubbock where more than six hours of his verbal recollections were recorded. Some verbal histories in the archives are less than 10 minutes and a few are over 20 hours.

Knodt also plans to send the center 350 slides he saved from his service in Vietnam.
Knodt graduated from Manteca High in 1965. He served with the 1st Calvary Division in Vietnam as a pilot of armed UH-1B  and C helicopters. He saw action in 1968 at the Battle of Hue, Khe Sahn and the A Shau Valley.

Among his awards are the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with “V” device and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device.

Knodt said he believed the United States could have won the war if it wasn’t for constant political interference with military operations that often restricted when they could even fire.

Knodt was inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame for business.

He was in real estate sales and home building in Manteca from 1976 to 1981. During that time he served as secretary treasurer of the South San Joaquin County Board of Realtors. He was active in the Manteca Rotary Club serving as president in 1980-81.

From 1981 to 1996, he worked in the commercial helicopter industry. Among his jobs was working as chief pilot for the Pan American World Airways shuttle in New York. He was also director of operations for Omniflight Offshore Helicopters in Corpus Christ. He also served as chief pilot for Papua New Guinea Operations for Columbia Helicopters Inc. where he airlifted and placed massive sections of oil rigs at remote jungle locations.

In 1996 he left the aviation industry to go into security sales as an investment advisor on a full-time basis. He currently serves as the Manteca branch manager for a financial services firm.

Knodt has been active in community service since being a member of the Key Club at Manteca High.

In the late 1990s he rejoined the Manteca Rotary and served again as president, this time in 2004-2005. He also served two years as treasurer for the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.

Knodt also has  been president of the Manteca Mural Society since 2006. He was also a founding member.

For more information on the archives project go to

• • •

Dust gets in your eyes

courtesy of the city

The dust blowing onto homes along Daniels Street and Fishback Road on Saturday afternoon was courtesy of the City of Manteca.

Earth moving equipment has been working  on city-owned land directly across from the Big League Dreams complex on the northeast corner of Daniels Street and Milo Candini Drive.

In case you’re wondering, the city has an ordinance that requires developers to control dust during windy conditions. Apparently the rules don’t apply to the city.

• • •

Traffic slows to 20 mph

Saturday on 120 Bypass

A couple of readers noted the slowdown on the 120 Bypass eastbound lanes reached almost midway between Union Road and Airport Way on Saturday.

There was no accident.  It was just the usual outside lane slowing down so traffic could make the transition to southbound Highway 99.

Reports had traffic moving along “Slinky” style at between 20 and 40 mph thanks to Deadman’s Curve.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail

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