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Public Statements

In Honor of Captain Joseph D. Nolan

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I rise before you today to honor the life and decorated naval career of Captain Joseph D. Nolan, who passed away late last year. The journey that he and his wife Betty traveled through the U.S. Navy extended from Virginia to the shores of Korea and Vietnam, and it finally came to rest in the deserts of New Mexico. Throughout his 30 years of service Captain Nolan wore the uniform of the U.S. Navy with pride and honor, and his dedication was recognized by the Silver Star amongst many others. The quantity and quality of his service stand as a model for all Americans to emulate as this young nation enters its fourth century.

Joseph Nolan's roots in my home State run deep. Joe graduated from Boston College then went on to receive his master's degree from Boston Teachers College, where his masters thesis focused on Oliver LaFarge's "Laughing Boy." After graduating from the Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, Joe was commissioned in January 1952. His first tour of duty was as CIC officer on-board the USS Preston where he received the Naval Commendation Medal with Combat "V" for his combat action in Korea. He continued to serve in destroyer types as Operations Officer and Gunnery Officer of the USS Cross and matriculated into the Regular Navy in August 1955.

Officer Nolan assumed the role of aide to the Shipyard Commander in his first tour of shore duty at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Here, he received orders to return to sea duty as Executive Officer of the USS Snyder based in New York. Following the decommissioning of the USS Snyder, Nolan reported to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Operational Control Center for 2½ years and attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama throughout 1964 and 1965. Upon completion of the Air Command and Staff College, Nolan served as Senior Naval Advisor in the "I" Corps area of Vietnam and as Commander Task Group 115.1 in Operation Market Time. For his combat action Nolan was awarded the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry and Legion of Merit with Combat "V." Nolan assumed command of the USS New in December 1966 in Portsmouth, VA.

After gaining the rank of captain, Captain Nolan was given command of the USS Halsey and later became the commanding officer of the Naval Destroyer School and then Surface Warfare Officer School, in Newport. In his final tour of duty Captain Nolan moved to Albuquerque, NM, to work for the Defense Nuclear Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base. In 1982 Captain Nolan retired after 30 years of service with the United States Navy.

Proud as he was of his professional military career, Joe Nolan's life encompassed much more than his service to country; he was a man of action who consumed the works of J. Frank Dobie and Eugene Manlove Rhodes and he came to love Western art. While I am saddened by his passing and the grief it visits upon his family and friends, I am proud to stand here today and share with the Nation my regard for the truly American life lived by Captain Joseph Nolan. We are humbled by his loss but we are better for his time here on earth.

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