Dwight G. Olson, B-17 Pilot/Co-Pilot

Item Thumbnail
See Dwight's interesting story with his photos at Our Stories, (on the main 8th AF website,) when another nearby B-17 was hit by flak.

Dwight Gordon Olson, B-17 Pilot, 1st Lt. US Army Air Forces, 15th Air Force,. 301st Bomb Group,. 353rd Bomber Squadron, Foggia Italy. 34 missions Time in service 1942-1945

Born: 1922

Grew up in Clinton, Mn

High School: Class of 1940 Clinton H.S.

Enlisted, took the college equivalency test, and became an aviation cadet

College Training Detachment: U of Mo. 5 months.

Primary, Basic, Advanced, Twin Engine Flight Training

B-17 training at Dyersburg, Tennessee

34 missions from Foggia, Italy to Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania (Ploesti), northern Italy

To read an account of his time in service and many experiences, see Don Ward’s book, The Greatest Generation of Silver Wings (2004) pp. 35-41. ISBN 0-9654964-0-8. The Memorial Press. See also Dwight Olson's Biographical Video (Jon Cermin videographer and editor) "My History, As I Saw It."


Mpls. Star Tribune Obituary Notice

Dwight Gordon Olson, Age 90, of Minneapolis, passed away peacefully on December 13, 2012. He was born May 1, 1922 in Colon, Nebraska. He moved with his family to Clinton, MN, where he graduated from high school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Force during WWII. He was a pilot of the B-17 bomber assigned to the 301st Bomb Group stationed in Foggia, Italy, and later was assigned as a 1st LT to the 353rd squadron. He married Velma Bodine on December 18, 1943. After an honorable discharge from the service he went back to Graceville, MN, with his wife where he farmed for a number of years before moving to Minneapolis. He worked at the Bureau of Engraving as the Superintendent of Maintenance until he retired in 1987. Dwight enjoyed photography and spent many years taking family and wedding pictures. Dwight is preceded in death by Velma his wife of 59 years; sisters Lorraine Jaeger and Velma Jean Thorson; granddaughter Kathy; and great- grandson Alex. He is survived by daughters, Ann Johnson, Linda (Dean) Hughes; son Lou Olson; grandchildren Diane Courteau, Jessica (Jason) Vigoren, Jason Kronschnable, and Janelle Kronschnable; 7 great-grand children and 1 great-great grandson; brothers Gilbert, Clifton (Barb), and Lyle; and sister Rosalyn Hessler. Dwight will be greatly missed by family and friends. Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 19th (5-8 pm) at Cremation Society of MN, Family Chapel, 7835 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park, MN. Funeral Service: Thursday, Dec. 20th (11 am) at Elmwood Evangelical Free Church, 3615 Chelmsford Rd., Minneapolis, MN.