Nolan, Michael Earl, Maj

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
0302-Infantry Officer
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1946-1963, 0402, MarForRes
Service Years
1941 - 1963
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Iwo Jima Certificate



 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Jean Nolan Krygelski-Family to remember Marine Maj Michael Earl Nolan.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Vancouver, Canada
Last Address
Tucson, Az

Date of Passing
Apr 06, 1991
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Marine Raiders AssociationVeterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)
  2011, United States Marine Raiders Association [Verified]
  2011, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified]

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Served in Arizona National Guard, 158th Infantry Regiment Medical Detachment, 1928-1933. Ranked Private, Private First Class, Specialist Fourth Class, and Sergeant.
Lettered in varsity football at Tucson High School. Nicknamed "Tarzan." Selected to Conference All-Star, All-Southern Arizona, All-Arizona, and Yuma Sentinel All-State Teams.
Lettered in varsity track and field at THS. Won medals and set records at Greenway Track and Field Day, Southern Arizona Conference, Southwestern Regional, and Arizona State Meets.
Lettered in varsity football at University of Arizona. Nicknamed "King Kong." Selected to All-Border Conference, Arizona Daily Star All-Border Conference, Arizona Wildcat All-Border Conference, and Phoenix Gazette All-Border Conference Teams.
Named to Associated Press All-America Football Team -- Honorable Mention, 1936. (First from Arizona to be selected)
Named to Liberty magazine All-Players All-America Team, 1936.
Lettered in varsity track and field at UA, competing in shot put, discus, javelin, high jump. Won medals and set records at Greenway Track and Field Day, Border Conference, and Arizona/San Diego Dual Meets. One javelin record stood for 32 years. Named Outstanding Athlete and High-Point AAU Athlete.
Won UA Intramural and Southwestern Amateur Athletic Union heavyweight boxing championships and UA Intramural heavyweight wrestling championship.
Won Arizona Golden Gloves Heavyweight Boxing Championship by first-round knockout, 1937.
Played professional football with NFL Chicago Cardinals, 1937-1938. (First from UA to go pro) Named All-Pro Honorable Mention.
Worked as a sparring partner in Livermore, California, for boxer Max Baer, one-time Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Boxed professionally through 1940, including bouts in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, and Oregon. Dubbed "Arizona's Heavyweight Sensation - 47." Managed by Frank Paccassi.
Elected to Tucson High School Athletic Hall of Fame, 1996; University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, 1996; Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, 1998; All-Time Arizona Honor Grid Team, 1949; All-Time Rocky Mountain-Southwest Football Team, 1969; Modern All-Stars U of A Football Team, 1969; All-Time University of Arizona 11 Best Players, 1985; Top 50 UA Football Players of All Time, 2013.
Enlisted in USMC January 16, 1941. Served in active duty through January 22, 1946, rising from private to captain during the war, and retiring a major.
Nicknamed "Big Mike," "Iron Mike," and "Saddle Up Mike."
Received a battlefield commission at Guadalcanal in 1942.
Volunteered for and served with Marine Raiders, September 20, 1942-January 31, 1944.
Served 44 months of foreign and sea service, which included Wallis Island, Guadalcanal/Tulagi, Pavuvu, Puruata, Bougainville, Emirau, Mussau, Iwo Jima, and Sasebo, Kyushu landing in Japan.
Wounded in battle multiple times, including gunshot wound to the leg, shrapnel in the shoulder, injuries to his hands, and hearing problems due to a nearby exploding mortar.
Served postwar in Reserve and Ready Reserve, with military occupational specialty of Engineer Officer. Completed active duty Cold Weather Training, January 11-23, 1952.
Named Executive Officer, 3rd Supply Company, Tucson Reserve and served as member of Volunteeer Trainng Unit (Guided Missile).
Became a member of the Retired Reserve on July 1, 1963, and retired from USMC on January 1, 1971.
On November 20, 1998, inducted into Marine Corps Mustang Association, honoring officers rising from the enlisted ranks.
During 1930s and 1940s, employed as construction worker and foreman in residential and commercial building; heavy equipment operator; special patrolman, Tucson Police Department; welder, steel structural designer, and superintendent for steel building company; firefighter and driver, Tucson Fire Department, 1946-1951. Held contractor's license in cast stone, ornamental plaster, concrete, and cement.
Returned to the University of Arizona in 1951, and earned Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1955.
Employed as engineer, Silverbell mining project, Arizona, 1955-1957; engineer, Toquepala copper mine, Peru, 1957-1958; forest engineer, United States Forest Service, Coronado National Forest, 1959-1975, in charge of engineering design, construction, and maintenance in the 1,875,000-acre forest.
Married Nellie Ahee, 1946. The couple had one daughter, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Other Comments:
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Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Tulagi (including First Savo)
Start Year
End Year


The Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, between the forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied (mainly United States (U.S.) Marine) ground forces. It took place from 7–9 August 1942 on the Solomon Islands, during the initial Allied landings in the Guadalcanal campaign.

In the battle, U.S. Marines, under the overall command of U.S. Major General Alexander Vandegrift, successfully landed and captured the islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo among which the Japanese Navy had constructed a naval and seaplane base. The landings were fiercely resisted by the Japanese Navy troops who, outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied forces, fought and died almost to the last man.

At the same time that the landings on Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo were taking place, Allied troops were also landing on nearby Guadalcanal, with the objective of capturing an airfield under construction by Japanese forces. In contrast to the intense fighting on Tulagi and Gavutu, the landings on Guadalcanal were essentially unopposed. The landings on both Tulagi and Guadalcanal initiated the six-month long Guadalcanal campaign and a series of combined-arms battles between Allied and Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area.


My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
To Year
Last Updated:
Oct 3, 2011
Personal Memories
Units Participated in Operation

1st Marine Regiment/2nd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (2/1)

1st Raider Bn

1st Parachute Regiment/1st Parachute Bn

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  919 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adams, Ben, Pvt, (1942-1946)
  • Ahrens, Edward Swift, Pvt, (1941-1942)
  • Anderson, Emmett L, TSgt (Grade 2), (1941-1942)
  • Bagosy, Joseph, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Benson, George Young, PFC, (1941-1942)
  • Berwanger, George Michael J., Sgt, (1935-1942)
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