Lance Corporal Nick Molnar (pictured above on his horse, Rodney) served as a six-foot-three member of the 4thUnited States Marine Brigade in Europe during World War I. This group of morally-driven men fought in the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history to that point, Belleau Wood, located about fifty miles northeast of Paris in which there were over 10,000 casualties and 1,800 deaths.
The American offensive enabled French soldiers to flee the German enemy while preserving the capital city of Paris and establishing the dominance of United States Marines as a ground force. Today, Marines are known as “Devil Dogs,” the nickname often attributed to their fierce and courageous actions during those horrific three weeks in June 1918.
For valor in combat, the 4thBrigade was singled out for special recognition, being awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government. Nick Molnar is the great-grandfather of Cody Molnar, a freshman in Cary Collins’s Military History of the United States course at Tahoma High School.