Nelson Braitmeyer was born in Philadelphia on February 17, 1917 and later moved to Oxford, Pennsylvania in the 1930’s.
Nelson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1935, rising the rank of Platoon Sergeant. He served in the 1st Special Weapons Battalion. 1st Marine Division.
Nelson was awarded the Navy Cross for his service on Guadalcanal in 1942. The Navy Cross is the 2nd highest award for Valor in the Navy and Marines, preceded only by the Congressional Medal of Honor. His Navy Cross citation reads: