WWII veteran's luggage with war medals lost on United Airlines flight

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- World War II veteran Emmett Nolan was flying from the Los Angeles International Airport to Norfolk, Virginia, in order to reunite with the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles.

While Nolan and his United Airlines flight made it to Norfolk where he was set to deliver a speech at his reunion, his bags containing his war uniforms, ribbons and medals were lost.

"I had presidential citation, a lanyard from Holland," the 91-year-old recalled. "It's valuable to me."

Nolan was 18 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army back in 1943. He was a paratrooper with the 101st airborne Screaming Eagles.

His first battle was the Normandy Invasion. He also survived the Battle of the Bulge.

Nolan's collection of military medals was extensive, but now it's all gone.

"I think it's terrible," he said.

Nolan's daughter, Linda Williamson, who traveled with him on the trip, explained the ordeal started at LAX with a delayed flight that was eventually cancelled after they sat on the tarmac for an hour, missing their connecting flight to Virginia.

Her father's luggage and all his medals ended up on another flight.

"It was just awful. I've never been treated like that in my entire life," Williamson said. "I was so frustrated with the whole episode that I filed a complaint with the airlines and I also filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation."

But Williamson said never heard a word from United Airlines about her father's lost bag since they arrived home weeks ago.

We reached out to United Airlines several times and eventually heard back, with the company stating it would attempt to find Nolan's luggage.

"I don't know what they'd do, but they owe me something," Nolan said.

Nolan's family, who reached out to ABC7 using #abc7eyewitness, said some of the medals could be replaced, but not all of them.

Nolan also said it's more of the sentimental value of losing the originals that hurts the most.
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