In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class
Ronald Andrew Olesen
Presho, South Dakota, Lyman County
December 17, 1941 -- July
Died in Aircraft Accident in Phuoc Long, S. Vietnam
Ronald Andrew Olesen was born on December 17, 1941, in
Gettysburg, South Dakota, to Oge and Eleanor (Ramser) Olesen.
Oge worked as a farmer and Eleanor was a house wife. He had two
brothers, Roger and Kenneth. Ronald grew up and went to grade
school in Presho, South Dakota. Ronald graduated from Riggs High
School in Pierre in 1959. He married Dagmar Schultz in July of
1961 in Germany. Dagmar and he had three daughters, Heinke,
Diana, and Michele.
Ronald joined the service in December 23, 1959, shortly after
high school. He was sent to Germany soon after joining the
service. In December of 1969, he was stationed in Vietnam.
Ronald’s rank was U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class. He was in
the HHC, First Battalion, 21st Artillery, First Cavalry
Division. He was in the service for a total of 128 months. He
was in Vietnam for 8 of those 128 months.
Specialist Fourth Class Ronald Andrew Olesen died in South
Vietnam in July 22, 1970, when “he was a passenger on a military
aircraft which crashed into a river.” It is believed that Ronald
was the forward observer. The details are as follows, according
Aircraft 67-17551 had just departed FSB
Granite to the south. While climbing, at about 700 feet, the
engine quit. The aircraft commander made a May Day call and
entered autorotation and landed in the river. Upon striking
the river the aircraft rolled to the right and submerged
quickly coming to rest on its right side. The aircraft
commander, the door gunner, and one passenger were killed as
a result of the crash. One passenger suffered back injuries
from an undetermined cause.
Survivors at the time of his death included his parents, Oge
and Eleanor Olesen of Fort Pierre; his wife, Dagmar, and his
three daughters: Heike, Dianna, and Michell of West Germany; and
his two brothers, Kenneth and Roger of Grand Island, NE.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Ali Ellingson, 8th
Grader, Spearfish Middle School, February 7, 2006. The
information for this entry was provided by Weekly Capital
Journal, August 6, 1970, the SD Veterans bonus application,
http://www.flyarmy.org/incident/70072213.HTM. The photo was
provided by the SD State Archives. Profile approval by Kenneth