Woodbury County

Lt. Edwin S. Olson



Posthumous Award for Former Sioux Cityan Killed in Action

Lt. Edwin S. Olson, a former Sioux Cityan who was killed in action May 29, 1944, in the Biak Islands, South Pacific, was posthumously awarded the silver star for gallantry in action.

Son of E. H. Olson, who was associated for many years with Booth & Olson paving contractors here, Lt. Olson attended Bryant and North junior schools and was graduated from Shattuck Military academy in June, 1938, at which time he received his reserve army commission of second lieutenant. He was attending the University of Southern California when he entered active service in August, 1941.

His citation said, “Lt. Olson’s company was one of the leading units in an attack. His company was met with very heavy Japanese mortar and small arms fire, completely pinning it to the ground, on unfavorable terrain. Hard coral rock prevented the men from digging in. First Lt. Olson, with no consideration for his personal safety, moved his men to better positions, inspiring them with confidence by his own courageous actions. He was struck by a piece of shrapnel during this engagement and died of wounds a few hours later.”

Besides the silver star, he had been awarded the purple heart with an oak leaf cluster. He had been wounded in action against the Japanese in the Pacific area July 29, 1943.

According to word received by his father, who now resides in Seattle, Wash., a baseball field is being built on Biak island, which is to be named Olson Field, in honor of the young lieutenant.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 3, 1945