Col. Turner Nolan recently was inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
He was nominated by Ronald Byrley of American Legion Boonville Post 200, and the induction was Nov. 9 in Indianapolis.
After graduating with an academic diploma from Salem High School in 1950 when he was 17, he worked in two factories in Seymour until he was legally of age to enlist in the U.S. Army.
He knew at a very young age — first grade — he had a desire to become a soldier. At about age 9, he had the opportunity to visit with his uncle, who was home on a leave from World War II and was an active paratrooper in the U.S. Army. Therefore, he became determined to join the U.S. Army to become a paratrooper.
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The 11th Airborne Division was being reactivated after World War II. Nolan received the airborne training in Fort Benning, Georgia, that consisted of conditioning, how to make parachute landing falls, how to guide a parachute in descent, how to collapse a parachute on the ground in windy conditions and also practicing exits from the aircraft.
During Nolan’s first parachute opening, the shock was a genuine eye-opener. The parachute landing fall was not a school-taught type.
He then was trained as a combat engineer for many jobs. The division was training for deployment to Korea.
Troops were taught how to live and complete missions in extreme cold weather. Bases were in Fort Campbell, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania and New York.
Nolan was selected to serve as the unit first sergeant of an airborne combat engineer company. This unit had World War II and Korean War combat veterans.
He held that leadership position until he was discharged from active duty in April 1954. He completed 33 parachute jumps.
After honorable discharge from regular Army service, he married Edwynna Rosenbaum of Salem. They moved to Bloomington to attend Indiana University, where he earned a degree in liberal studies.
In February 1955, he accepted full-time employment in the Indiana Army National Guard as an administrative and supply technician. He wound up working for the National Guard for 33 years and eight months.
Nolan served in various positions, including field artillery battery officer, and he completed the field artillery officer course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and then was promoted to first lieutenant.
He served in the adjutant field artillery battalion, completed the field artillery officer advanced course and was promoted to captain.
Nolan served as an assistant fire support officer and then adjutant at the division artillery of an infantry division before being promoted to major. He was assigned to strengthen a troop of nearly 1,800 personnel.
He was secretary to the general staff and assistant chief of staff for the G-1 infantry division consisting of 7,500 to 8,000 troops. He completed the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
Next, he was director of personnel on the staff of Indiana’s adjutant general and was promoted to colonel 0-6.
He served as chief of staff for the Military Department of Indiana and was responsible to the state’s adjutant general. Some major responsibilities included recruiting, promotion management, discipline, pay and moral, legal and religious support. He also was a member of the state career board and was a member of a military selection board for other states. He acted on behalf and represented the adjutant general as necessary.
Nolan received many awards from December 1960 to September 1988 for his military service. Those included Kentucky Colonel, Sagamore of the Wabash, Good Conduct Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Indiana National Guard Long Service Medal (30 years), Indiana Military Volunteer Ribbon and Indiana State Adjutant General Staff Identification Badge.
During his military career, Nolan progressed from private E-1, the lowest rank in the Army, to colonel 0-6, a senior commissioned officer.
He served at Grayling, Michigan; Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Sheridan, Illinois; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and Fort Riley, Kansas. He also spent time in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado and was in Europe three times.
Since retirement, he spends time on his farm in Salem, hosting family and friends, traveling, going on cruises and going to his great-grandchildren’s sporting events.
He has many relatives living in Seymour, including sisters Louise Tolliver and Jean Howard, nieces, nephews and cousins.