Born: November 30, 1924
Hometown: Algiers, Louisiana
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Deck Cadet
Date / Place of death: January 10, 1944 / 17N, 74W
Date / Place of burial: January 10, 1944 / At Sea —
Ronald E. Nolan signed on as Deck Cadet aboard the SS Wildwood on December 30, 1943 at New Orleans, LA. The Wildwood, a World War I vintage “Hog Islander”. According the to the Master’s report to the American Counsel at Port of Spain, Trinidad on January 19, 1944 Ronald Nolan contracted pneumonia during the voyage, and died just after midnight on January 10, 1944. He was buried at sea on the same day at around 1400 hours.
In his voyage report Ensign Verne Stewart, USNR, Commander of Wildwood’s Naval Armed Guard noted that the forward crew quarters on the Wildwood were “unlivable,” with temperatures sometimes rising above 130 degrees Fahrenheit. He added that
“There has been much sickness on the ship and I am certain that this improvement [to the ship’s ventilation] would decrease same.”
Cadet-Midshipman Ronald E. Nolan was posthumously awarded the Atlantic War Zone Bar, the Victory Medal and the Presidential Testimonial Letter.
Ronald Nolan was the oldest of William E. Nolan and Elvera B. Nolan’s four sons. Ronald’s younger siblings were the twins Emile and John who were three years younger and little brother William who was thirteen years younger. According to the 1930 and 1940 Census, William Nolan was a machinist.