Joe Olson, USAF, B-36, NWA Mechanic/Machinist-Engine Shop

 
Gunnar Bjornson (in red jacket) talking to Joe Olson (seated) after a September 2011 8th AFHS-Mn Luncheon Presentation.
 
Joseph Louis Olson CAP, USAF, NWA, CAF,
Joe Olson was featured in the Sept. 2010 NWA History Centre newsletter:
"Joe Olson hails from the North Dakota city of Grand Forks. (“I guess you can call it a city,” he says.) The aviation bug targeted Joe early. At 15 he was a Grand Forks high school Civil Air Patrol cadet. His first teenage job was as a flagman and mixer-of-chemicals for an agricultural crop duster. Then it was the U.S. Air Force in 1952: a year in training, one year as a mechanic in Morocco, three years with B-36 bombers in New Mexico (“We flew all over the world”), and four years as a reservist. Joe spent a year at the U of M and received his diploma as a tool and die maker from Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, in 1961. He joined Northwest’s machine shop in 1969, switching to its engine shop in 1983. He is a life member (since 1983) of the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force) and still toils on the old CAF birds-- B-25, P-51, AT-6, BT-13, L-5 PT-22 and the like, based at Fleming Field, South St. Paul. The CAF, based in Midland, Tex., maintains about 144 planes at various locations around the globe.) Joe is also a life member of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society, both Minnesota and National chapters. He retired from Northwest in 2000. “My life,” he says, “has been mostly aviation.” "
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