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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Earl K. Olsen (DE 765)


Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Z - Y - D
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row: European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal


Specifications:
Class: Cannon
Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1240 tons (light), 1620 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 10,800 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 201
Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) Building and Operational Data:
  • 09 March 1943: Keel laid by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Tampa, Fla.
  • 13 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. H. E. Olsen, mother of Lieutenant Commander Olsen
  • 10 April 1944: Commissioned at Lee Terminal Dock, Tampa, Fla., Lcdr W. F. DeLong, USNR, in command
  • 17 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.
  • 13 December 1946: Assigned as NRT ship, towed to Tampa, Fla.
  • 21 November 1950: Recommissioned at Tampa, Fla.
  • 07 January 1951: Reassigned as NRT ship at Charleston, S.C.
  • 18 July 1953: Reassigned as NRT ship at Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 25 February 1958: Decommissioned at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
  • 01 August 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 28 September 1973: Sold for scrapping to the Boston Metals Co. (DRMS Sale #16-4017)
  • 1974 - 1975: Scrapped at the Boston Metals Curtis Bay Yard, Baltimore, Md.
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Earl K. Olsen 120k Artist's conception of Earl K. Olsen by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett, with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company, Navy Yard Associates, offers prints of most destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. ALL destroyer escorts are available in their WWII configuration. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. When you purchase artwork from them, please indicate that you heard about their work from Navsource. Navy Yard Associates
    Earl K. Olsen 74k Earl Kenneth Olsen, born 2 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.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Earl K. Olsen 74k Undated Postwar Image, recently out of mothballs DESA Archives
    Earl K. Olsen 44k circa 1950, just out of mothballs (closer view of above photo) Robert Hurst
    Earl K. Olsen 44k Undated Postwar Image Russ Padden
    Earl K. Olsen 71k September 1953: the North Atlantic - Taken from USS Caloosahatchee (AO 98), by RM1 John A. Zaruba, during Operation Mariner. Jack Zaruba
    Earl K. Olsen 74k see previous photo
    Earl K. Olsen 95k Shortly after being removed from mothballs. Len Banning
    (1952 - 1954)
    Earl K. Olsen 98k 1953: The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard - USS William T. Powell (DER 213) in background.
    Earl K. Olsen 28k 1954, looking forward from the masthead
    Earl K. Olsen 60k Circa 1960's: Philadelphia, Pa. - Earl K. Olsen laidup at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard outboard of Oswald (DE 767). Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Earl K. Olsen 140k Early 1970's: Philadelphia, Pa. - mothballed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. (Photo by Ed Zajkowski) Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    ***Kyne / E.K. Olsen*** 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 History
    View the USS Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Earl K. Olsen's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 10 Apr. 1944 - 06 Apr. 1945Lcdr. Winfield Fox DeLong, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 06 Apr. 1945 - 17 Jun. 1946Lt. / Lcdr. Robert Greene Nichols, USN (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    None
    Note About Contacts

    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.


    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Earl K. Olsen
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 24 July 2017