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Lee Norris' Truck Loaded with Hogs, 1960

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1950s era Ford F-250 truck with “Lee C. Norris, Freemont, IA.” painted on passenger’s door, is parked at the Des Moines airport awaiting the flight of 39 hogs from Iowa  to Yamanashi, Japan.  Back of truck is boarded up on the sides and covered with a strapped-down tarp.
Courtesy of United States Air Force, Magano, Arthur, 1960


Lee Norris operated a sale barn on his farm near Freemont, Iowa, for many years. In the 1950s, representatives from Japan would often attend the hog auctions at Mr. Norris' farm because of the high-quality purebred Hampshire hogs that he raised and sold. When Master Sgt. Richard Thomas wanted to arrange a hog lift to Japan to help repopulate the hog population after the typhoons, Norris was ready. Seven of the 39 hogs that went to Japan were from Norris' farm, and they were transported from Norris' farm to the Des Moines airport in this truck. Japanese buyers continued to return to Norris' farm to buy hogs for more than twenty years after the 1960 hog lift.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Look closely at the photo - there are seven hogs in this truck. Where are the hogs? What preparations would Lee Norris, the owner of the hogs, need to do to his truck to drive the hogs to Des Moines
  • Lee Norris was known for his high-quality purebred Hampshire hogs. Why would purebred hogs be a good choice to send to Japan?

Citation Information 

Magano, Arthur, 1960. Courtesy of United States Air Force