Joseph Paul Nolan, Jr

Army of the United States
20 May 1950 - 17 May 1972
Oak Park, Illinois
Panel 01W Line 027


Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Joseph Paul Nolan, Jr

20 Mar 2006

I have worn your bracelet for years but never knew much about you.

I was born and raised here in Chicago and understand you were from Oak Park ... a neighbor. Hope I can find a link, someone to tell me more about you.

Kristine L. Zahlmann

21 Mar 2007

Joey was a cousin of mine. His dad was my mom's brother. I used to enjoy going to visit his family. There were more of them than us. His brother, Burpee, was my age. I have lost track of the family, but they are in my thoughts.

When I saw the Wall, the pain was intense. I hope the family fared well in the following years.

My son has gotten safely through four arenas of war in the Mid-East.

His last duty was in Baghdad. We are grateful. He is alive.

From a cousin.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 16 May 1971 "A" Company, 101st Aviation Battalion, was tasked with conducting a combat assault insertion of ARVN Marines into a landing zone (LZ) in the vicinity of Hue, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The seventh UH-1H (hull number 68-15491) in line for landing was crewed by
  • CPT Joseph Paul Nolan, Jr, pilot
  • CW2 Craig Lee Farlow, copilot
  • SP5 Elliott Crook, crew chief
  • SP4 Timothy John Jacobsen, door gunner
On departing the LZ, pilots of the fifth and sixth helicopters stated that they were taking enemy fire. After touchdown, then-1LT Nolan radioed that he was taking heavy ground fire and that his crew chief was wounded. 1LT Nolan immediately took off. Witnesses saw his aircraft climb to about 250 feet, where it rapidly lost rotor RPM and crashed into the tree tops, bursting into flames. No survivors were seen to exit the aircraft.

On 24 May a search and recovery team made a ground search and found badly burned human remains outside the wreckage. It was also noted that additional possible remains were trapped under the heavy wreckage. The remains recovered - those outside the wreckage - were later determined to be Vietnamese. The remains trapped within the wreckage could not be recovered because of hostile fire.

The four American crewmen were placed in "Missing in Action" status. At the first annual review of their status, the reviewing board concluded that all available evidence indicated the four crewmen had died in the crash. Findings of death were therefore issued on 17 May 1972 for the four men. As of 24 March 2006 their remains have not been repatriated.

The four men are
remembered by their comrades in
A Company, 101st Aviation Battalion

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Mar 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009