William nolde

COL WILLIAM BENEDICT NOLDE

  • Branch: Army
  • Hometown/City: MENOMINEE, MI
  • Date of Birth: 08-08-1929
  • Date of Death: 01-27-1973
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Unit:
  • Port/Base:

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  • On January 27, 1973 at 9:05 p.m. at An Loc, Republic of Vietnam, Colonel William B. Nolde was killed instantly by an enemy artillery shell that had landed near his position while he was talking with the commander, and staff, of the 5th ARVN Ranger Group, all of whom were wounded. Ironically, Colonel Nolde was discussing with his Vietnamese Counterpart how best to get the economy rolling again at the end of the war, just hours away. Colonel was a career soldier, having served in the Korean War prior to Vietnam, he was on his third tour of duty at the time of his death. He was a sensitive and caring man, he studied the culture and learned the language of the Vietnamese. He was a familiar figure in the refugee camps, encouraging the people with his positive attitude. The children followed him everywhere. He saw no conflict between his roles as a soldier and humanitarian. One of the first things Nolde did was to rebuild a bombed out Catholic Church in his province. It was being used for services even though there was no roof or seats. A devout Roman Catholic, Colonel Nolde would attend Buddhist services with his Vietnamese counterparts and villagers before going to Mass. Just weeks before his death, Colonel Nolde wrote to a friend on the faculty of Central Michigan University, “For the sake of the Vietnamese people particularly I would like to see peace finally arrive. We tend to think only in terms of what this war has cost the United States, but by comparison, in what it has cost the people of Vietnam, our price pales.” Colonel William B. Nolde was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. He left a wife, Joyce, and five other children.

    Kevin Corl, Organization