Richard Emil Olson was born on September 24, 1945 and a graduate of Barnstable High School in 1964. In that same year he enlisted in the army on October 12, 1964 and completed basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. On his first tour of Vietnam he was a Sky Trooper for the 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile) and was made editor of The Cavalier an army newspaper in Saigon. He also served as correspondent photographer for Stars and Stripes and Army Times. After recuperating from malaria he re-enlisted for his second duty in Vietnam on October of 1967. During that time he was awarded the Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Sharp-Shooter Badge with automatic rifle bar and Marksman Badge with rifle bar. He was a member of the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, Troop D as a Staff Sergeant. Staff Sergeant Richard E. Olson experienced a traumatic event which resulted in his death on February 23, 1969. Recorded circumstances were he died through hostile action, small arms fire in Binh Long Province, South Vietnam. He was awarded posthumously the Bronze Star Medal with First Oak Leaf Cluster for Heroism, Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and Good Conduct Medal. Funeral services were held on March 9, 1964 at Hyannis Federated Church. Sergeant Olson’s Interment was in Mosswood Cemetery with a military service with a 21-gun salute and firing squad from Fort Devens and taps by a military bugler. The memorial is located at the intersection of South Street and Old Colony Blvd, in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
Organization Responsible for Installation:
The Town of Barnstable
Memorial War Era(s):
South Street and Old Colony Blvd Hyannis, MA 062601
Published on May 12, 2020