Nolde, William Benedict, COL

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
11 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Field Artillery
Last Primary MOS
1193-Field Artillery Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Field Artillery (Officer)
Primary Unit
1972-1973, MACV Advisory Team 47 An Loc
Service Years
1951 - 1973

Field Artillery


Six Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

31 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Fallen Army Profile is not currently maintained by any Member. If you would like to take responsibility for researching and maintaining this Fallen profile please click HERE
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jan 27, 1973
Hostile, Died
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Binh Long (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 112

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Artillery Shoulder Cord

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1973, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
United States Forces Korea (USFK)Basic Airborne Course (BAC)HQ, US Army Cadet CommandUS Army Vietnam (USARV)
Southern European Task Force (SETAF)5th Battalion, 30th Artillery Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1952-1952, United States Forces Korea (USFK)
  1953-1953, 1193, Basic Airborne Course (BAC)
  1962-1964, HQ, US Army Cadet Command
  1964-1965, US Army Vietnam (USARV)
  1965-1966, HQ, US Army Cadet Command
  1966-1968, Southern European Task Force (SETAF)
  1968-1969, US Army Vietnam (USARV)
  1971-1971, 1190, HHB, 5th Battalion, 30th Artillery
  1972-1973, Field Advisory Element MACV
  1972-1973, MACV Advisory Team 47 An Loc
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1951-1952 Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
  1972-1973 Vietnam War/Cease-Fire Campaign (1972-73)
 Colleges Attended 
Central Michigan University
  1946-1949, Central Michigan University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Colonel William Benedict Nolde (August 8, 1929 – January 27, 1973) was killed by shell fire at An Loc eleven hours before the cessation of all hostilities in accordance with the Paris Peace Accords. He was the last official American combat casualty of the war - the 45,914th confirmed death during the conflict.

Nolde was buried on February 5, 1973 in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery (his widow Joyce was buried beside him in 2005).

He was the senior military advisor in An Loc in Binh Long Province. At 43 years of age, he was the oldest graduate of Field Artillery OCS to die in Vietnam.  While he was not the last American to die in Vietnam, his death was the last recorded before the cease fire, earning the dubious honor of being the last of 45,941 Americans killed during the conflict.

As such, his funeral drew not only full military honors but considerably more brass than the funeral of a field-grade officer would normally command. Among 150 or so mourners were General Alexander Haig, the Army Vice Chief of Staff, and Lieutenant General Robert E. Coffin, who had been his Commanding Officer when he served in Italy before his Vietnam tour.

At Central Michigan University the William B. Nolde Scholarship was established in memory of the Colonel by students, family and friends. The William B. Nolde Lecture Series takes place every two years and invites various politicians, professors and military leaders to lecture on the importance of leadership.

COL Nolde commanded the 5th Bn, 30th FA in Italy (1969-1971) and is a well remembered member of the "Hard Chargers" of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment. The "SPERRY" Missile Trophy was retired in his name in 1974, and is prominently displayed in the 30th FA Regimental Room, in Snow Hall, at Fort Sill, OK. His service with the 5th Bn, 30th FA has been recorded in "The History of the 30th FA Regiment 1918-1998". For more information about the "Hard Chargers" of the 30th FA Regiment contact MSG (R) Dan Gillotti, Historian, 30th FA Regiment, (


Colonel Nolde enlisted in the Army in 1951 and served during the Korean War. He then attended OCS at Fort Sill. Among his many assignments, he was Assistant Professor of Military Science at Central Michigan University from 1962-1964 before his first tour of duty in Vietnam. He then returned to CMU as APMS for a second time, leaving that position in the fall of 1966. Colonel Nolde also served in Korea, Germany and the Far East. Prior to a third tour in Vietnam he had been stationed in Italy.

Colonel Nolde was inducted into the Field Artillery OCS Hall of Fame on 16 June 2006
Copyright Inc 2003-2011