Lieutenant Dan Noorlander

March 12, 1921 — October 3, 1990

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World War II
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Training Maneuvers

Lt. Noorlander is pictured here with his hand on the wagon. The story of the "Los Angeles Spy" is told below by war correspondent Julian Hartt.

Reporters played an important role during the Korean War, often telling stories that otherwise would be forgotten.

Lt. Noorlander referred to training exercises like those described on this page, but provided few if any details.

He focused on matters that concerned him the most, including issues that affected the well-being of the men who served with him. That concern was reflected in how he prepared them for war.

Lt. Noorlander’s Account

Newspaper Articles Detail Lt. Noorlander’s Creative Training Methods

This and the article below refer to the same story, but provide other details that hint of the training exercises Lt. Noorlander put his men through, to prepare them for Korea.

L.A. 'Spy' Uses Radio in Old Wagon Axle

By Julian Hartt

(Los Angeles Examiner star reporter and veteran war correspondent assigned to the 40th Division for on the spot coverage of the Division’s activities overseas. Hartt will report especially on the Los Angeles and Southern California officers and men. He is the only staff representative of a Los Angeles newspaper actually with the Division.)

WITH THE 223RD INFANTRY, OJOJIHARA, Japan, June 12.—Down through a battalion command post here today, while an all out infantry problem was in progress, a tired old bullock pulled a loaded, rickety wagon.

Three Japanese trudged alongside.

Once, when the group stopped and the Japanese loaded up some lumber from the roadside, an American major from the CP took advantage of the halt to study the wagon closely.

Kicking at one of the wheels, he commented to a fellow officer:

“Their axles are arranged differently than ours.”

The major paid no attention, however, when the wagon stopped again a short distance away, and one of the native farmers crawled under the same axle.

This “Japanese” was Lieut. Daniel O. Noorlander, 4807 Angeles Vista boulevard, Los Angeles.

‘SPYING’—

Commander of the 223rd I and R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance) platoon, he was “spying” for this particular battalion’s “enemy.”

The unusual axle housed his shortwave radio, over which he sent out an inch by inch report on the CP layout, while laying there within a stone’s throw of the battalion’s entire headquarters staff.

The other two “Japanese farmers” were PFC. Yoshinobu Takata, Route One, Saratoga, Calif., and Pvt. James Oto of 516 South Hunger street, Stockton.

Already decorated for gallantry in World War II, Dan Noorlander is the kind of an infantryman both his superior officers and the men under him like to have around.

They know he is sharp-witted, courageous, and wants every man to know everything possible about every conceivable weapon.

And those who did not know it, found out today that Noorlander himself knows as much or more about those weapons than anyone else.

He had the entire I and R platoon on a ridge top, giving every man in turn a chance to fire grease guns, carbines, jeep-mounted 50-caliber machine guns and rifle grenades.

Pfc. Thomas C. Smith, 3006 Coolidge Avenue, Los Angeles, was one of those who learned quickly that the “old man” was an expert with a rifle grenade. Noorlander showed him how to hold the rifle at his hip, then said:

“Aim at that little green bush by the road. Get your barrel higher, a little higher, now—fire.”

Smith pulled the trigger. After a pause of silence as the grenade arched over some 70 yards, it burst directly on the bush.

Noorlander told his men:

“That will never hurt them much; it will scare the blazes out of them.”

By thus proving his own skill, from remote control, Noorlander was instilling the same skill in his men—and with it, the confidence that makes an outfit a good one.

Paul Buesquet served with Lt. Noorlander in Korea over 50 years ago. He sent this article to Dorothy in 2003, from an old Stars and Stripes Army newspaper, writing on the top, “That’s my boy!!!”

Paul Buesquet in Korea. 1951-1952.

That’s my boy!!!

223rd ‘Highlanders’ Shield Wanted Man

SCHIM–First Lt. Daniel Noorlander has a price on his head.

The 223rd Infantry claims there is a standing offer of a five-day pass to any man who can capture Noorlander, head of the 223rd’s crack I&R Platoon.

The 36 men of the platoon, who call themselves “Noorlander’s Highlanders,” usually act as aggressors in BCT tests and claim they’re more at home behind enemy lines than in front of them.

With a complete background of US infantry tactics, the Highlanders have weeks of training with weapons of the Chinese army.

“On their own time,” said the platoon sergeant, SFC David Hand, “the men have taken a course in Russian weapons and can field-strip many Red Army pieces.”

A typical Highlander exploit occurred during the last 223rd RCT problem. Noorlander and two of his men, disguised as Japanese farmers, rode through the lines on a wagon loaded with hay. They had only one close call. A major thought the 300-pound radio they had strapped to the wagon was a new type of axle.

“I wonder what he would have thought,” grinned Hand, “if he found the grenades and rifles we had stashed under the hay.”

Another platoon job is the almost endless one of road reconnaissance. Up to now, they’ve recorded more than 2500 miles on Honshu, from broad highways to one-horse trails. [Lt. Noorlander: 4000 miles.]

Lieutenant Dan Noorlander (DanNoorlander.org) — War Experiences. Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Lt. Noorlander’s son created, hosts, and maintains this website.

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Colonel Belknap’s Recommendation Letter

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Lt. Noorlander’s Hand-Drawn Map

As told by Dorothy: “Dan was given a special assignment recording information by taking pictures of Japanese bridges on the Island. This was a precaution in case the Chinese attacked Japan. In April 2002, Sgt. Monte Rubin told me that Dan had his I & R platoon buy small cameras to take pictures of the bridges. Then Dan rigged up something so they could put these little cameras side by side and get a three-dimensional view of the bridge.

In June 2002, Major Bud Taylor told me that Dan also devised a way with two cameras to show depth in a picture. This provided a way to indicate the bridge’s weight bearing capability. He said that Dan always added something to an assignment, making it successful beyond anyone’s expectations. The information Dan gained was often enhanced by the devices he would invent.”

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Julian Hartt’s Newspaper Account

Julian Hartt - War Correspondent

Lt. Dan Noorlander with Mt. Fugi in the background

Dan Noorlander with rifle grenade

Dan Noorlander receiving Bronze Star Medal

Google Map of Korea

Kumsong Village, Korea

Petrie dish for growing bacteria

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Oregon Lieutenant Sparks Crack Intelligence Platoon

SENDAI, Japan, Dec. 19.-(U.P.)-First Lt. Daniel Noorlander, Lakeside, Or., has a price on his head.

The 223rd infantry regiment claims there is a standing offer of a five-day pass to any man who can capture Noorlander, head of the regiment’s crack intelligence and reconnaissance platoon.

The 36 men of the platoon, who call themselves “Noorlander’s Highlanders,” usually act as aggressors in 40th division tests and claim they’re more at home behind enemy lines than in front of them.

With a complete background of U.S. infantry tactics, the Highlanders have weeks of training with weapons of the Chinese army.

“And on our own time,” said the platoon sergeant, Sfc. David Hand, La Canada, Cal., “we have taken a course in Russian weapons and can field-strip many Red army pieces.”

A typical Highlander exploit occurred during the last 223rd regimental combat team problem. Noorlander and two of his men disguised as Japanese farmers, rode through the lines on a wagon loaded with hay. They had only one close call. A major thought the 300-pound radio they had strapped to the wagon was a new type axle.

“I wonder what he would have thought,” grinned Hand, “if he had found the grenades and rifles we had stashed under the hay.”