• Last modified 7097 days ago (Jan. 13, 2005)
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Floyd Olson

My father, Floyd A. Olson from Wisconsin was F/395 during World War II. He was killed March 15, 1945.

Like many children whose father was killed in the war, my mother Arlene never spoke much about him or his death. My father was home for my birth, which was on Dec. 9, 1944. After I read the book, "Lost in the Victory: Reflections of American War Orphans of World War II," by Halder and Mix I decided to research more about his burial place and death. My mother had chosen to not have his body returned to the States. I sent for this information from the Department of the Army and it took more than a year for it to be returned with the information.

For the first time his grave was visited by a family member — me (his only son) and my wife. We did this July 13-14. He is buried in Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium. There we were introduced to Marcel and Mathilde Schmetz, two Belgians who are devoting their lives to the memory of the Americans who freed Belgium. Marcel had books and made documents showing that my father was killed in Ginsterhahn, Germany, where the Remagen Bridge March occurred March 12-15.

My mother, who is alive, still has little to say about this time in her life. The trauma of being left a poor widow at 24 with a three-month-old son and a four-year-old daughter (my sister's birthday happens to be the same as our father's death) may have left her only in survival mode. She remarried when I was four and although my stepfather provided financial stability, he was cruel with a temper and more. He died 34 years ago and my mother never remarried. After her marriage to my stepfather, the Olson family apparently distanced themselves from us and only recently are renewing our family connections.

If you have any information about my dad during his military service, I would appreciate hearing about it. If you know of others who might have known him I also would like to correspond with them. Marcel provided your names from the Checkerboard. Any information would help me know more about the father I never had a chance to have as part of my life.

David Olson

5305 Lacy Road

Madison WI 53711