|Military Awards and Decorations
Citation for award of Silver Star Medal:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Harvey Sigurd Olson (37023123), Sergeant, U.S. Army, for gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with Troop A, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), on 6 June 1944, in France. On that date Sergeant Olson with one companion, displaying the highest courage in the face of unknown dangers, became one of the first American Soldiers of the ground forces to land on French soil. He volunteered for the mission of the landing on D-DAY on the Iles De St Marcouf, a strategically placed island commanding the beach where assault was to be made. Sergeant Olson and his companion paddled through heavy surf and mined waters in a small two-man rubber boat to within 100 yards of the island. Sergeant Olson then destroyed his craft by slashing it open, and swam the remaining distance armed only with a knife. Once on the island, which was heavily covered with anti-tank and anti- personnel mines, Sergeant Olson and his companion signaled the assault forces and marked the beach with lights.
Headquarters, VII Corps, General Orders No. 43 (1944)
Entered the service in March 1941 and trained at Ft Meade, SD with the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. Maneuvered around the US and became a Mechanized unit when training in the California desert when they traded in their horses. Went overseas and and practiced mock up landings for the invasion. Became the first soldiers to amphibious land on French soil on the Iles St Marcouf 2 hours before the main landings on DDAY. Served throughout France and was wounded twice at Villedieu and Mortain. Served in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany fighting in the horrible battles of the Huertgen Forest. Earned the Presidential Unit Citation for actions in Bogheim, Germany. They were in the Harz Mountains when the war ended. Re-enlisted and trained and served with the 8th Army Ranger Co in Korea until they were disbanded due to heavy casualties, where he was wounded once again. Following the war served in France with an MP company. He also served at Ft Rucker, Alabama where he trained special troops. He retired from service in May of 1963. He lived in Lake Bronson,MN until his death September 6, 2002.