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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

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. after 2 years and 2 months of service
  • 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 the U. S. Naval Base, Philadelphia after 11 years and 2 months of service; custody to CO, Philadelphia Group, U. S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • 01 August 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 13 years and 4 months of service
  • 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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    Earl K. Olsen

    Earl K. Olsen
    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.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Earl K. Olsen
    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
    Erie, Pa.
    Earl K. Olsen
    177k Undated Postwar Image, Earl K. Olsen (DE 765) under tow to Tampa, Fla. for assignment as a Naval Reserve training ship. John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.


    Dave Schroeder
    Milwaukee, Wis.
    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)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Earl K. Olsen
    364k Undated Postwar Image David Wright
    Destroyer Archives
    Manager, Navsource
    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
    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)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    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
    Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    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
    Frederica, Del.

    Earl K. Olsen Memorabilia
    Earl K. Olsen
    Courtesy of
    Charlene Fosselman
    Earl K. Olsen
    Courtesy of
    Charlene Fosselman

    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. 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

    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.

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 02 February 2023