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Manuscripts by Subject - Military - #10723

Title:     Vernon L. Olson Papers

Dates:   1954-1956           

Collection Number: 10723

Quantity:             .5 feet

Abstract: Contains letters written by Vernon L. Olson to his mother while he was serving in the Army in Korea.

Provenance: This collection was donated to the State Archives by Olson's daughter Rhonda Greene in June 2004.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Vernon LeRoy Olson was born to Helmer and Sigrid Olson at the family farm west of Sheyenne ND on December 20, 1934. He had two sisters, Geraldine Adeline and Elaine and two brothers, Glenn and Leland. On August 3, 1956 he married Shirley Westerlund at McHenry. Following their marriage they lived in Carrington, moving to Sheyenne in 1957. Vernon was employed by Sheyenne Sand and Gravel for over 15 years. The Olsons lived on the home place which they purchased from his parents and raised beef cattle.
Shirley and Vernon had nine children: Rhonda Rae, Edward, Jimmy Ray, John Ray, Vernon Leroy, Jr., Their Michelle, Randy Michael, Timothy Don-Allen, Dona Jeanne, Laura Elaine, Darwin Glenn, and David Paul. Vernon Olson died November 28, 1986.
Olson started 16 weeks of basic training as a Private in Co. C., 128th AOM, 6th Armored Division at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in April 1954. In August his company flew to Fort Lewis WA where they boarded a ship for Korea. The 19 day voyage took them to Inchon. Olson was assigned to the 341st Engineer Company and the 560th Engineer Pontoon Bridge Company fixing roads, doing carpentry and other projects. The letters do not offer much information on his activities once he arrived in Korea, but focused on what was going on in North Dakota. Olson was shipped back to the U.S. in January 1956.


Box 1:
1. Correspondence Apr-Aug 1954
2. Correspondence Sept-Dec 1954
3. Correspondence Jan-May 1955
4. Correspondence June 1955-Jan 1956
5. Misc. letter from the Commanding Officer to Olson’s parents, shipping labels, press release regarding leave in Japan
6. Photographs 1954-1985, n.d. includes Olson’s Army portrait, two photos taken at Inchon Korea and the remainder are of the Olson family.


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