Era: World War II
Military Branch: Navy
Donald Nickolauson served in World War II in the Pacific Theater.
He served in the U.S. Navy beginning on April 27, 1944. He went to basic training at Farragut, Idaho, and was assigned to the USS Reno, which headed to the Pacific. A month after Mr. Nickolauson boarded the ship, the Reno was torpedoed just off of the island of Formosa (now Taiwan). Fifty-three of Mr. Nickolauson’s crewmates were killed. The Reno made its way back to the United States and was repaired. The war in the Pacific ended. Mr. Nickolauson was discharged on October 23, 1945.
His rank was Seaman 2nd Class.
Mr. Nickolauson was born in 1926 in Brown’s Valley, Minnesota. He is the son of Albert and Tolly Nickolauson.
Source: Veterans’ Memorial Hall veteran history form; veteran’s account (below)
“Inducted into the service in 1944. Trained at Farragut, Idaho. Board ship months later (the ship USS Reno in Oct. 1944). The ship was torpedoed November 3, 1944, just off Formosa. We spent next 8 months bringing ship back to the U.S. (Charleston, South Carolina). Ship got repaired and was ready to go back in service, but 53 sailors were killed. A bomb dropped, and the war ended.”