On August 21, 1969, Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Olson of Irwin were informed by Kenneth G. Wickham, Major General USA, the Adjutant General that he had the honor to inform them that their son, Spec 4 Duane E. Olson had been awarded posthumously:
Bronze Star Medal for heroism, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge.
Prior to death Duane had been awarded: The National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Viet Nam Campaign Ribbon, Expert Badge with recoilless rifle bar, Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar, and Marksman Badge with pistol bar.
An official presentation was made by General Woodin at the National Guard Armory at Mapleton instead of Fort Leanorwood, MO where the family had been asked. Due to circumstances it was more convenient to go to Mapleton. Those attending were Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Olson, son David, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Olson and Dean Olson. Other officers present were Major Burkead, Captain Trish, Major Thompson and Lieutenant Reimer.
The Bronze Star Meadl with “V” Device was awarded for action June 11, 1969. Theater: Republic of Viet Nam. Reason:
For heroism, not involving participation in aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Viet Nam. Specialist Four Olson distinguished himself by exceptionally valerous action as a riflean with Company D, 2nd Battalion (Air Mobile) 7th Cavalry during reconnaissance mission. While moving through dense jungle Secialist Four Olson’s unit came in contact with a large enemy force in well fortified emplacements. As the element moved forward to a vantage point it came under intense fire from the right flank. When aerial rocket artillery was called in Specialst Four Olson volunteered to remain in the forward area providing cover fire for the withdrawal of his unit. As his unit secured a perimeter, Specialist Four Olson exposed himself to the hostile fire as he crawled toward his element. During his heroic actions Specialist Four Olson was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His diplay of personal bravery and devation to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Authority: By directions of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 11046, August 24, 1962.
For the Commander: Official Robert M. Shoemaker, Colonel G.S. Chief of Staff.
We honor you, Duane Elmer Olson.
(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)