George Olsen was born in New Jersey in 1919 to Ohtilde and Hans Olsen, who were both born in Norway. He had three bothers and a sister. The family lived in Jersey City and Teaneck. George attended Teaneck High School and graduated in 1939. He is described in his Yearbook as being calm, collected and having a cheerful, contented countenance. After high school George completed one year of college. He worked for the Wright Aeronautical Corporation in Paterson.
He enlisted on 10/5/42. George attained the rank of Sergeant in the 506th Bomber Squadron, 44th Bomber Group.
On 11/13/43 Sergeant Olsen was serving as a gunner on a B-24 Bomber whose target was Bremen, Germany. His Squadron was attacked by enemy aircraft. After completion of the mission, the bomber that Sergeant Olsen was serving in was forced to crash land when returning to the Airfield in England.
This brave airman was awarded the Purple Heart and is buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Cambridge, England
High School Yearbook
Te-Hi News (Teaneck High School Newspaper)
- 1920 United States Federal Census
- 1930 United States Federal Census for George Olsen
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U. S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas
- U. S. Headstone and Interment Records for U. S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949 for George E. Olsen
American Battle Monuments Commission
Find A Grave Website
- Sgt George E. Olsen - Gunner Sgt. George E. Olsen KIA
Hometown: West Englewood, New Jersey
Squadron: 506th BS 44th Bomb Group
Awards: Purple Heart
Pilot 2nd/Lt. William H. Hart
Mission Date: 13- Nov-43
Serial Number:# #42-7647
Aircraft Model B-24D
Location: England Crew of 10 2KIA
The second largest port in Germany was the objective for this mission, with its extensive port facilities and large manufacturing and storage facilities as well as an important rail transport center. Adverse weather conditions, severe cold, and enemy fighters which rose to give fierce engagements to the 44th Bomb Group formation, made this raid a most difficult one. About 50 enemy aircraft made their attacks on the bombers from all directions, using the dense contrails to hide their approach. Due to these attacks, the Group suffered two aircraft lost as well as two other men KIA in returning aircraft; and another ship crash-landed. Three men were seriously wounded, none of them were identified on the casualty listing, are now identified in Squadron papers and shown in this section.
On this mission of 13 November, the Group suffered two additional men KIA on a 506th Squadron aircraft that was forced to crash-land when returning to England. Upon return from this raid, Lt. W.H. Hart, in A/C #647, circled the field and then crashed in some trees near the base. Killed were young George Olsen and Clifford Hurst. Ralph Strait was so badly wounded that he was not expected to live through the night, but he did, and ultimately returned to duty. All men with blood type AB were asked to report to the hospital due to the needs of these men. The pilot and other surviving crewmembers all had been injured or wounded prior to the crash. Only the two men killed had not been wounded by enemy action.
Note: Entered the service from New Jersey.