On 12 February 2016 at 7pm, a Purple Heart was presented to the granddaughter of WWI hero 2LT Robert Russell Nolan. The ceremony took place at her family home located in Burbank, CA.
2nd Lieutenant Robert Russell Nolan was born 20 December 1892 in Boston, Massachusetts to John and Olliveur Nolan. He was later drafted to serve in the Army and was commissioned as an Officer. He was assigned to Company B, 114 Field Artillery, 30th Infantry Division and was wounded in action on 14 October 1892 when he received a gunshot wound to the right hand and side. He would survive the war and returned home to Boston. He would later pass in California on 07 June 1965. He is buried in the Fort Rosecrans Military Cemetery in San Diego, CA, Section A-E, Site 6.
The 30th Infantry Divison was activated in October of 1917 and participated in major operations at Ypres-Lys and the Somme offensive. It was one of the two U.S. Army II Corps Divisions to break the Hindenburg Line in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal.
In 1932, 2LT Nolan applied to receive a Purple Heart, but it was never sent to him or his family. This past month, Purple Hearts Reunited was contacted by his Granddaughter, Mrs. Marianne Vila, asking for help to secure one. She had learned about Purple Hearts Reunited after reading a Reader’s Digest article about the Foundation which was published last March.
Thanks to Purple Hearts Reunited, the family received the honor 2LT Nolan earned some 98 years ago. Before returning the medal to the family, the organization payed their respects to 2LT Nolan at Graveside in San Diego.