Please read message from Randy Olson, as communicated to Sen. John Patterson.
It is with sadness but also great honor that I must let you know my father, Colonel John Eric Olson, passed away yesterday at the age of 94 from pretty much natural causes (a small, quick bout of pneumonia). Some of you may have known him. He did a great deal to promote awareness and the memory of American Prisoners of War in Japan in World War II, plus he wrote three books on his war experiences. In recent years I've been doing what I can to help promote the memory of both he and his historical work that he was so passionate about.
Towards that end, I assembled this Wikipedia page on him that tells the basics of his military career. And more importantly, I am a professional filmmaker and am putting the finishing touches on a new documentary feature film about him that we will begin screening early next year at film festivals. We expect to begin public announcements of the film in December.
He led an extraordinary life… He did a lot of good things, stood for the very best of the United States military, and was deeply committed to the memory of his fellow P.O.W.'s. He is survived by my mother, Harriette Marshall Olson of Lenexa, Kansas, my sisters Jackie Olson Moore, Suzanne Olson Emerson, and my brothers, Eric Olson, Mike Olson.
"Colonel Olson's proudest service is to the Philippine Scouts. He serves as the historian for the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society. He belonged to the 57th Infantry Regiment, a unit that extended to Fort Sam Houston during World War I and the Civil War battle of Chickamauga in Georgia.
This regiment held back the Japanese in the Philippines and its members garnered 21 Distinguished Service Crosses and 68 Silver Stars. Colonel Olson received one of these crosses for helping to set up a command post after an artillery barrage. He was also among those captured and forced to endure the Bataan Death March. After that, he was shipped to Japan in November, 1942 working in a factory that produced steel drums.
John Olson developed a love of the Philippines from his father who served two tours in the U.S. Army in the Philippines in the early 1900s. When John graduated from West Point, he requested a posting to the Philippine Scouts. ..."
Post by legionnaire on Oct 6, 2012 19:08:33 GMT -5
Oh yes I got my copy too with his autograph only thank to you too for helping me on get him to sign it. Gil found a hardbound copy with the autograph of John with it in a militaria show I was with him.