Nathan K. Van Noy, Jr. (Junior Van Noy) was born on August 9, 1924 in Grace, Idaho. Brought up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During February 1943, he joined the Army from Preston, Idaho during February 1943.
At age 19, assigned to the Headquarters Company of Shore Battalion, 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. On October 17, 1943 at Scarlet Beach north of Finschafen, Private Van Noy manned a machine gun during a predawn landing by three Japanese barges loaded with enemy troops.
One barge was sunk, but the other two landed only ten yards from Van Noy's position and he opened fire on the unloading troops. He and his loader was wounded by a grenade and evacuated, but Van Noy remained at his post and continued firing until all his ammunition was expended. He died from multiple wounds and was found after the battle dead beside his gun. A total of 39 Japanese were killed, with at least half credited to Van Noy's gun.
Van Noy's body was recovered and postwar he was permanently buried at Grace Cemetery in Grace, Idaho.