October 13, 1919 - December 6, 2007
Harry E. Nollsch took part in the invasion of Africa and Italy and Germany during World War II and made his home in Rapid City with wife Dorothy.
Pushing north into Germany, his unit helped to occupy Hitler’s stronghold at Berchtesgarten in Bavaria. “Looting was widespread. A man pushing a cart was passing me and asked if I wanted a momento from the war. He gave me a bath towel with the initials ‘A. H.’ on it,” Harry remembered. “I still have it.”
Some of his unit’s history is written up in “The Sicilian Campaign” in Hanson W. Baldwin’s Battles Lost and Won: Great Campaigns of World War II, a dog-earred paperback that Harry would often bring with him, revealing handwritten marginal notes commenting on factual errors in the text. The book focuses on July 10 to August 17, 1943: “The Sicilian Campaign, the largest amphibious assault of World War II, represented the ‘end of the beginning’ in the long Allied road to victory in World War II.”
Harry also recommended reading Frank T. Manning’s book Fire Missions and Cherry Blossoms, a “personal account of a national guard unit from a small Wyoming town and its participation in the Korean War.”
In short, "He entered the U.S. Army June 16, 1942. He served overseas in North Africa, Italy and Germany, earning numerous medals including a Purple Heart. He was mechanic on L-2, L-3 and L-4 observation planes as a Technical Sgt. Harry was discharged on September 19, 1945."
As Dean Muehlberg remembered on June 2, 2007, "Months ago during my first interview with Harry he had mentioned his superior, a Lt. Alfred Schultz, in passing. I wrote the name down. Months later I was browsing info on the 3rd Infantry Division and took a link from Bill Heller's wonderful site on the 3rd to "Wild Blue Yonder."
This site had many pictures of observation planes and directs one to a book written about them called Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War. I copied some of the pictures to show Harry and forgot about them until today when I went to see Harry again. When I pulled them and my notes out today I finally made the connection! Alfred Schultz wrote Janey. Harry was Schultz' crew chief for a long, long time. Harry recognized people in the pictures."