Building named for fallen World War II Soldier
August 28, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Aug. 28, 2013) -- Building 4230, located on Old Cusseta Highway, was named in honor of Staff Sgt. Henry Nothel by D Company, 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, during a dedication ceremony Aug. 20 on Harmony Church.
Nothel was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, while serving with the 70th Tank Battalion during World War II. The Operations Facility and Barracks is the final building on Harmony Church to be dedicated as part of the Base Realignment and Closure, which relocated the Armor School to Fort Benning.
Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Farr of the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, said the building would serve as a reminder of Nothel's bravery and sacrifices for many generations.
"Thank you Staff Sgt. Henry Nothel, for serving your country with distinction and honor," Farr said. "The building we're here to dedicate will stand for years to come and will allow every Soldier who enters the front door to see his name, read and understand his past and place his actions in the uppermost portions of their minds."
A Brooklyn native, Nothel was known as an expert swimmer and frequently served as a lifeguard during company swimming parties and swimming instruction. He volunteered for overseas duty while serving with the Armored Replacement Center at Fort Knox, Ky., in 1942 and accepted a reduction to private from staff sergeant. Nothel received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in the assault landings in amphibian tanks in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Nothel died Dec. 6, 1944 in Belgium from wounds received in action near Schevenhutto, Germany.
Capt. Guster Cunningham, III, commander of the 1-81 AR Battalion, said the Nothel Barracks, which was constructed last fall, is one of many buildings on Fort Benning that teaches Soldiers the history and respect of those who served before them.
"For new Soldiers coming in, they will see the Nothel Barracks and they'll wonder who he is, and hopefully they will want to go and do research on him to get a perspective on the sacrifices that this individual made and why we thought it was important," Cunningham said.
Cunningham said he was personally inspired by Nothel because of the transition in his own career from a tanker and a senior NCO at Fort Knox to a 2nd Lt. in the Armor branch.
"Once we know where we came from, it allows to know in what direction we should go," Cunningham said. "Personally, I look to people in the past to draw strength from in times of adversity."