Name: Joseph Paul Nolan, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army
Unit: Company A, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 20 May 1950
Home City of Record: Oak Park IL
Date of Loss: 16 May 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161527N 1072019E (YC499987)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1746

Other Personnel in Incident: Craig L. Farlow; Timothy J. Jacobsen; Eliott
Crook; (all missing)

Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published
sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2020.


SYNOPSIS: On May 16, 1971, Lt. Joseph P. Nolan, pilot; W1 Craig L. Farlow,
aircraft commander; SP4 Elliott Crook, crew chief; SP4 Timothy J. Jacobsen,
door gunner; comprised the crew of a UH1H helicopter conducting a combat
assault insertion of ARVN Marines into a landing zone (LZ) in the vicinity
of Hue, Thua Thin Province, South Vietnam.

Lt. Nolan's helicopter was the seventh to land on the LZ. On departing the
LZ, pilots of the fifth and sixth helicopters stated that they were taking
enemy fire. Lt. Nolan radioed after touchdown that he was taking heavy
ground fire, that his crew chief was wounded. Lt. Nolan immediately took off
and at 250 feet, witnesses saw his aircraft rapidly lose rotor RPM and crash
into the tree tops, bursting into flames. No survivors were seen to exit the

On May 24, a search and recovery team made a ground search and found 2
partial skulls and one partial right foot, all badly burned. It was also
noted that there were four more possible remains that were trapped under the
heavy wreckage. The partial skulls were later determined to be Vietnamese.
The other remains were not recovered because of hostile fire.

The crew of the UH1H was presumed to be dead, and their bodies were never
recovered. They are listed with honor among the nearly 2500 Americans still
missing in Southeast Asia until such time as their remains can be returned
home for an honorable burial.

Others missing in Southeast Asia do not have such certain fates. Many were
alive and well the last they were seen. Some described their imminent
capture over radio to would-be rescuers. Still others were known to be
captives, but disappeared from the prison system and were not released.

Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are
still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their
freedom. In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears that we
abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same
war, will we sign their death warrants, or will we do what is necessary to
bring them home?




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On May 16, 1971, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 68-15491, call sign "Chalk 7") with four crew members participated in a combat assault mission inserting Army of Vietnam soldiers into an area in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The helicopter was the seventh helicopter to land during the mission, and the pilots of the fifth and sixth helicopters reported receiving hostile fire as they lifted off from the landing zone. After this UH-1 touched down, the pilot radioed that he was taking enemy fire, and that his crew chief was wounded. As he took off, the helicopter lost rotor power, crashed into the trees, and caught fire. Witnesses saw no survivors exit the helicopter. Enemy activity prevented an immediate search and rescue effort, and a later ground search failed to locate the remains of all but one of the U.S. crew aboard the helicopter.  

First Lieutenant Joseph Paul Nolan Jr., who joined the U.S. Army from Illinois, served with Company A, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. He was the pilot of the UH-1 when it crashed, and his remains were not recovered. After the incident, the Army promoted First Lieutenant Nolan to the rank of Captain. Today, Captain Nolan is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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