FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Feb. 17, 2022) -- Nash Boulevard is dedicated to the memory of Col. William L. Nash, an Army cavalry officer who served as commander of then Camp Drum from Aug. 1, 1957, until his death at age 46 from a heart condition on Aug. 12, 1959.
Nash graduated from the University of Arizona and was commissioned into the Army Reserve in 1935. He entered active duty in 1940 and fought with the 1st Cavalry Division throughout the South Pacific during World War II.
For his actions in the war, Nash received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Philippine Legion of Honor and the Philippine Liberation ribbon. He remained with the 1st Cavalry Division for nine years.
From 1954 to 1956, Nash served as military attache to Indonesia. He attended the Army War College before taking command of Camp Drum on Aug. 1, 1957. As head of the Camp Drum summer training staff – which included officers and Soldiers from First Army Headquarters, II and XIII Corps and a small permanent detachment – Nash was responsible for operational and logistical support for the 10-week training cycle.
His untimely death came as a shock to members of the Camp Drum community when they learned he had succumbed to a heart attack at the Post Hospital, with his wife and son at his bedside during his final hours.
A funeral service was held later that week in the Camp Drum field house, and interment took place in Arlington National Cemetery. A dozen military personnel from Camp Drum accompanied the Nash family on board a C-47 to Washington for the service.
According to the post newspaper, the Camp Drum Sentinel, Nash was widely known and highly respected throughout the Camp Drum area, and he effected the most cordial relationship between the military post and surrounding civilian communities.
A dedication plaque was placed on a large boulder in his honor at the corner of Nash Boulevard and Division Hill Drive.
His son, also named William L. Nash, graduated from Carthage High School. A veteran of the Vietnam War and Iraq War, he served as the two-star commander of U.S. troops in Bosnia, in 1995.
(Editor’s Note: Around and About Fort Drum is a monthly series exploring the history of Fort Drum and the names associated with buildings, sites and structures on post. This is the sixth article in the series.)