Colonel William Benedict Nolde (August 8, 1929 – January 27, 1973) was an officer in the United States Army. Born in Menominee, Michigan, Nolde was a professor of military science at Central Michigan University before joining the army. He is known for being the last official combat casualty of the Vietnam War.
Military career Edit
Nolde was the last official Combat Casualty of the Vietnam War - the 45,914th confirmed death during the conflict. Colonel Nolde was killed by shell fire eleven hours before the cessation of all hostilities in accordance with the Paris Peace Accords.
As an officer, he served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, acting as an advisor to the South Vietnamese forces in the latter. While other Americans lost their lives after the truce was enacted, these were not recorded as combat casualties. During his time in the armed forces, he accumulated four medals, including the Bronze Star Medaland Legion of Merit. In 1997, Nolde was one of the first members inducted into the Central Michigan University Reserve Officer's Training Corps Hall of Fame. In 2006, Colonel Nolde was also inducted into the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
Lecture Series Edit
The William B. Nolde Lecture Series has the purpose to promote an understanding of the role of the United States Armed Forces in the life and history of the United States and to recognize the tie between military science and the broader disciplines within the university. The lectures serve as a stimulus to intellectual activity for future leaders both in the military and across the Central Michigan University campus and community. This program is sponsored by the university's Military Science Department. The following are the lectures presented:
|William B. Nolde Lectures|
|Fall 1998||Dr. Jerold Brown||Historian, Combat Studies Institute, Ft. Leavenworth||The Citizen-Soldier and the American Military Tradition|
|Spring 1999||Hon. Dave Camp||US Representative, Michigan 4th Congressional District||The Role of Congress in Raising and Supporting the US Armed Forces|
|Fall 1999||Dr. Gregory M.A. Gronbacher||Director, Center for Economic Personalism, Action Institute||The Just War Tradition: Will it Survive the 21st Century |
|Spring 2000||Col. Edwin F. Veiga||Director of Media Relations, Office of Chief of Army Public Affairs||Media and the Military: Meeting the Challenge|
|Fall 2000||Maj. Gen.E. Gordon Stump||Adjutant General, State of Michigan||The Role of the Michigan National Guard|
|Spring 2001||Col. James M. McDonald||Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army||US Army Transition|
|Fall 2001||Dr. Hans A. Andrews||President, Olney Central College||Leadership Education|
|Spring 2002||Col. Genaro J. Dellarocco||Project Manager, Force Projections Combat Services Support, TACOM||Force Projection: The Spear of our Nation's Military Power Projection|
|Fall 2002||Pres.Michael Rao,||Central Michigan University (with Dani Hiar, Jamie Brown, Jennifer Ireland, Michelle Howard, Nathan Westfall, and Nicole Wright)||CMU Student Leader Development: Preparing Leaders for our University, Community, Nation, and World|
|Spring 2003||Brig. Gen.John G. Kulhavi andTerence F. Moore||Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch and President/CEO, Mid-Michigan Health||Leadership in the Military and the Business World |
|Fall 2003||Brig. Gen.Roger L. Allen||Deputy STARC Commander, Michigan Army National Guard||Building Leaders for Tomorrow |
|Fall 2004||Capt.Shawn Abbe||Commander, 1437th Multi-Role Bridge Company||Leadership in Times of Conflict |
|Spring 2005||Brig. Gen.Anne F. McDonald||Deputy Director for Operations, National Military Command Center||Gold Nuggets I Wish I had Known|
|Fall 2005||Col. R. John Cully||Vice President, Trading Places International||Eastern Region Government and Armed Forces Cooperative|
|Spring 2006||Lt. Col.Gary Brito||Commander, 1st Battalion, 15th Regiment (Mechanized), 3rd Infantry Division||Students should not be afraid to take risks |
|Fall 2006||Col. James P. Coates||Commander. 9th Brigade, Western Region, US Army Cadet Command||OPEN DISCUSSIONS with Question and Answer|
|Fall 2007||Lt. Col.Brian Mays||Assistant Principal, Colin Powell Middle School||OPEN DISCUSSIONS with Question and Answer|
|Spring 2008||Col.Thomas Rini||Investigator, Office of the Inspector General, DoD||OPEN DISCUSSIONS with Question and Answer|
|Fall 2008||Lt. Col.David A. Burdette||Vice President, Central Michigan University||Student, Citizen, and Soldier in the 21st Century|
|Spring 2009||Col. Scott S. Haraburda||Director, Manufacturing & Engineering, Crane Army Ammunition Activity||Success by Surviving Changes |
|Fall 2009||Lt. Col.Brian Eifler||Commander, Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment||Reflections of a CMU Ranger|
|Fall 2010||Col. Elaine A. Edwards||Director of Marketing, US Army Cadet Command||OPEN DISCUSSIONS with Question and Answer|
Nolde Scholarship Edit
At Central Michigan University the William B. Nolde Scholarship was established in memory of Colonel William B. Nolde by students, family and friends.
Nolde was buried on February 5, 1973 in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery (his widow Joyce was buried beside him in 2005). As the last official combat casualty, his funeral was broadcast on television and was attended by "considerably more brass than the funeral of a field-grade officer would normally command" including General Alexander Haig and President Richard Nixon.
Awards and decorations Edit
- Legion of Merit
- Bronze Star
- Purple Heart
- Air Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Vietnam Campaign Medal