|1st. Lt. Elmo Olson, 7th Armored Division died in the Battle of the Bulge.|
Elmo T. Olson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 24, 1917 in Arkansas. His mother Estella was also born in Arkansas. His father Ole was born in Illinois and his parents came from Norway. Ole worked as a farmer. Elmo had five older brothers. By 1930 Ole had died and Estella was living in Oklahoma with four of her boys and was supported by one of her sons who worked for a service station. By 1940 his mother had remarried and Elmo was in the third year of college at what is now Oklahoma Wesleyan University where he worked in the library.
Elmo enlisted in the US Army on January 28, 1942 as a private. Having completed college by this point, he was recommended for officer candidate school. Upon graduation, he was assigned to serve as a tank commander in Company C, 17th Tank Battalion, 7th Armored Division and held the rank of first lieutenant.
Lt. Olson and the rest of the 7th Armored Division landed on Omaha Beach in mid August 1944. He fought in battles at Chartres, Chateau Thierry, and Verdun in France and Maastricht in Holland for Operation Market Garden. When the Battle of the Bulge broke out, The 7th Armored was sent to block the advance of the Germans near St. Vith. For nearly a week Lt. Olson helped delay the German advance despite the enemy outnumbering the Americans. By December 23, the American position became untenable. The 7th Armored was ordered to withdrawal over frozen roads, still targeted by enemy artillery. Lt. Olson was wounded during the withdrawal near Jevigne, Belgium. He died five days later on December 28, 1944.
His remains were returned to be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
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