PFC Richard Emil Nilsen was born 5 Apr 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the 2nd child and only son of Ingvald and Anna Marie (Knudsen) Nilsen. His parents would divorce soon after and his mother remarried. Richard and his sister lived with their mother and step-father who was captain of a lighter in the port of New York.
After entering the service and completing basic training, Richard was sent to Europe and on 5 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry. PFC Nilsen was killed in action just 2 days later on 7 Jul 1944.
PFC Nilsen was repatriated and re-interred in The Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Mother Anna died in 1945.