321stBG,446th BS Lil' Butch #43-4052 J. Fitzgerald Ship /Fred Lawrence Photo
321stBG,448thBS, Lt Orin Olson, Pilot, KIA 26 July,'44 (Click on Photo)
Thursday, 06 September 2007
North Dakota Rancher,Cowboy Poet and Author, Rodney Nelson, had an uncle named Orin Olson (his mothers brother). Rodney never knew this uncle as he was killed in action during World War II in 1944 and Rod wasn’t born tell several years later. Orin Olson was raised on a farm near New Rockford ND, was married and had a daughter that was born while he was overseas, he never got to see his little girl.
Rodney asked me if there was some way to find out what had happened to his uncle Orin. There was not much information to go on, they thought Orin had been a pilot on a bomber in Italy. Rodney thought Orin may have flown a B-24, (a heavy 4 engine bomber).
I asked if Rodney knew what bomb Group Orin was in, Rodney had no idea and knew his mother wouldn’t remember either. I asked if by some chance someone in the family would still have some of Orin’s letters from overseas, Rodney said he would look. Several days later Rod called and told me that after looking through a bunch of his moms old letters he found one from his uncle Orin. It was a very touching letter in which Orin told of how much he missed his wife and his yet to be seen little baby girl. Orin went on to say that they had finally got into the thick of the fighting and he couldn’t wait tell the war was over so he could get back home, the letter had been sent in April of 44. The return address was in New York but it also had the Bomb Group and Squadron numbers (321BG, 448Sq). I was not familiar with the Bomb Group so I got on the computer to look it up. It turned out that it was not a B-24 Heavy Bomb Group but a B-25, (twin engine medium bomber)Group with the 12th Air Force flying out of Corsica. I could not find anything about Orin on the 321st BG sites so then I simply did a search on “Orin Olson, 321st BG”------ JACKPOT, I found an item on a message board from back in Dec. of 2000 that was written by the cousin of the Co-pilot on Orin’s plane. I sent an E-mail to the address provided and waited, I had no idea if I’d get a response. Several days later I did!! All the information we were looking for was there. Here is what was sent to me……
SEE THE NEXT PHOTO FOR THE "STORY" !