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|74k||Earl Kenneth Olsen, born 02 July 1903 in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a member of the Naval Academy Class of 1926. After varied duty afloat and ashore, he was ordered to Pensacola
(CA24) on 09 February 1939. Lieutenant Commander Olsen was serving as engineering officer during the night battle of Tassafaronga, off Guadalcanal, 30 November - 01 December 1942. When a torpedo hit
flooded the engine room, he coolly and efficiently directed evacuation of survivors. Attempting to carry another officer to safety, he himself succumbed to smoke and toxic gases. Lieutenant Commander
Olsen was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Citation: "The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Earl K. Olsen, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy,
for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Engineering Officer aboard the Heavy Cruiser USS Pensacola (CA24), after the torpedoing of his ship
in enemy-controlled waters during the Battle of Tassafaronga on the night of 30 November 1942. Lieutenant Commander Olsen coolly and efficiently directed the evacuation of the surviving personnel and
attempted to carry the body of another officer to a place of safety, after enemy torpedo fire had flooded the engine room where Lieutenant Commander Olsen was stationed. As a result of his gallant
spirit of self-sacrifice on behalf of the men on watch with him, he succumbed to smoke and toxic gasses. The conduct of Lieutenant Commander Olsen throughout this action reflects great credit upon
himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country".
USS Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) (1944-1958) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo from the U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook; The Lucky Bag, Class of 1926.)
|117k||This photo was sent to Charlene's Mother, along with the documents in the memorabilia section, prior to the ship's commissioning. Charlene's Dad, Theodore Fosselman F2c, from Clinton, Oh., reported aboard Olsen on commissioning day and served in her until he was transferred to the Receiving Station at Cavite on 04 December 1945, for further transport to the States and his discharge.||Charlene Fosselman|
|74k||Undated Postwar Image, recently out of mothballs||DESA Archives|
|44k||circa 1950, just out of mothballs
(closer view of above photo)
England, United Kingdom
|364k||Undated Postwar Image||David Wright|
|71k||September 1953: the North Atlantic - Taken from USS Caloosahatchee (AO 98), by RM1 John A. Zaruba, during Operation Mariner.||Jack Zaruba|
|74k||see previous photo|
|95k||Shortly after being removed from mothballs.||Len Banning|
(1952 - 1954)
|98k||1953: The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard - USS William T. Powell (DER 213) in background.|
|28k||1954, looking forward from the masthead|
|349k||mid-1950's: USS Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) underway at sea.
(U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 107520 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|60k||Circa 1960's: Philadelphia, Pa. - Earl K. Olsen laidup at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard outboard of Oswald (DE 767).||Gerhard Mueller-Debus|
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
|140k||Early 1970's: Philadelphia, Pa. - mothballed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
(Photo by Ed Zajkowski)
|318k||Winter 1972 - Spring 1973: Philadelphia, Pa. - Two decommissioned DE's at the Inactive Ship Basin of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility. Pierside is Earl K. Olsen, Kyne (DE 744) is outboard of her.||Jim Cunliffe|
|Earl K. Olsen Memorabilia
|Earl K. Olsen History|
|View the USS Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Earl K. Olsen as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Earl K. Olsen's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 10 Apr. 1944 - 06 Apr. 1945||Lcdr. Winfield Fox DeLong, USNR (Comm. CO)|
|2.) 06 Apr. 1945 - 17 Jun. 1946||Lt. / Lcdr. Robert Greene Nichols, USN (Decomm. CO)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 06 February 2020