This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.This playground was named in honor of Private Thomas Francis Norton (1947-1968), a Brooklyn native whose life was cut short in the Vietnam War (1964-1975). Norton was stationed there from 1967 until his death in 1968. During that period of time, the war reached a turning point when full scale combat became the norm, and heavy casualties ensued.
Born in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn, Norton attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School on Flatbush Avenue. In 1961 he enrolled at Madison High School. Norton was a talented football player and chose to play for the Titans, a team sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. He attended high school for an additional year in order to meet the requirements of both his team and his school. The son of a Parks Department employee and a seasonal Parks employee himself, Norton enlisted in the army in his 20th year.
Thomas Norton had worked for Parks during the summers. His father, William No