Bio: Olson, Roger B. – Lt. (Military Service – 1968)


Surnames: Olson, Scidmore

----Source: Tribune/Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wis.) 28 Nov 1968

Lieutenant Roger B. Olson, 33 year old implement dealer from Colby, drives 150 miles each drill weekend in order to train with vaval reserve helicopter squadron 9-E02, at vaval air station, Twin Cities.

His 300 miles round trip each month is a short one compared to the route he chose into a naval reserve helicopter squadron. He joined the armed forces when he graduated from Colby High School in 1954, and served successfully as an air force pilot and an army national guard pilot before making his way into vaval service.

While a member of a national guard helicopter squadron, his job was to carry combat troops into fighting areas. As a naval helicopter pilot, his job is to fly anti-submarine warfare missions.

"Outside of that, the jobs are pretty much the same," he said, "an I'm not having any trouble making the transition."

Lt. Olson entered the air force as a cadet upon graduation from high school, and was commissioned the following year. He was assigned to MATS as a pilot on a C-124 flying from Dover, Del., a job he held for five years.

He left the service in 1960 to enter the implement business with his father and immediately sought a reserve connection to keep his training alive. Colby is situated about half way between two air force reserve stations, one in Milwaukee and the other in the Twin Cities, but neither of them was willing to sign on a man who lived so far away. His four year search developed the fact in 1964 that a national guard aviation outfit was seeking pilots for training at West Bend, so he joined it and was sent to a helicopter school for training as an army helicopter pilot.

After four eyars of that program he found that for promotion he would be required to fulfill qualifications in some basic army segment such as infantry or artillery before he could be promoted as a pilot. If he failed promotion, he was automatically became a warrant officer.

"I started to feel a little out of place, since I didn't have that basic qualification," he said, "So I went home prepared to quite the reserve, even though I liked it."

A Colby Mink rancher, Lloyd Scidmore, who is a member of transport squadron VR 61EZ, told him about the naval air reserved and the Twin Cities station. Olson made application for membership in May 1967 and was accepted in August 1968.

His reason for wanting to be a reservist is among the simplest and most logical yet hear, "I like it," declared the tri-service flier.

With more than 3,000 hours of flying in his long, and 10 of those as a naval air reserve pilot, Lt. Olson told of a few of the changes he has experienced since he changed flight suits.

"We used to fly from sort of a pasture at Marshfield," he explained, "but here they have a tower and several other facilities that seem to be pretty nice."

Lt. Olson is married. He and Mrs. Olson have five daughters, ranging in age from 1 to 11 years. Although an enthusiastic Navy man himself, he says: "I guess my family won't be of much interest to a recruiting officer."



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