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Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry (Read 6077 times)
OlsenPC
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Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Jul 09th, 2008, 5:42am
 
Hi.  I am trying to find out any information on my G-Uncle, LtCol Alexander Olsen, who was lost during the Death march, or perhaps on Corregidor.  He served with the 26th Cav. in Phillipines Ft. Stotsenberg in 1927 to 1930 (he would have been a Lt. or Capt. then?) and then re-enlisted after retirement in 1940 and returned to Phillipines in June 1941 on the President Coolidge.  He started with Headquarters Division, Intelligence (have some very gloomy letters concerning this and readiness..) and then was posted to the 2nd Phillipine Constabulary after the war began.  His last letters in late March 1942 come just after the Battle of the Pockets he was in.  For over 50 years we thought he had been killed in the March, but just got a piece of information from Army Bureau of Personnel (his Record of Death) that contains a report that he was MIA from Corregidor after April 9, and the record contains the names of (4 ) PScouts enlisted lost at same time.  The report is from a Col. Juan Moran, who was 26th Cav. PS but then detached to the 11th Phillipine Army Division as COS under Col. Brougher, USA.  Col. Moran died in Cabanatuan.  Would anyone have any information or know where I could look.  (I have bought ~ five books so far on the subject, no luck).  Please have no worry if information is 'edgy', we would just like to know anything.

Peter Olsen
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #1 - Jul 9th, 2008, 5:12pm
 
Peter,

I like to do research and while I wasn't in WW II I am a Cold War Veteran (US Army 1961-64).  Your Grand Uncle had a distinguished career of which you should be proud.  All my books are still packed from my move, but I was able to run down some items on Ancestry.com.

Mainly his census and war records.  Unfortunately his war records on the internet are items you already probably know.  I got 6 items.  1930 census has him at Ft Ringgold, Texas.  US Roster of WW II Dead list him as Catholic, Lt Col and his service number.   WW I Draft Registration lists him from Queen, NY being born on 12 Jul 1894 in New York, and being  in The ROTC program, dated May 28, 1917.  WW II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas lists him as Missing, his rank of Lt Col, Combat Organization was the Bataan Defense Force, Monument is Ft Wm McKinley, Manila. and death date is 1 Feb 1946.  US Military Personnel Missing In Action or Lost At Sea, lists the identical information as the preceding report.

The last report is a New York Pass List covering a trip from Montevideo, Ury to New York on the ship Southern Cross.  Arrival date of 23 Nov 1925.  His US residence is 2nd Cav Div, Ft Riley, KS.  I believe the 2nd Cav was an African-American Unit, in the non segregated US Army then.  Correct me if I am wrong.  With all my books still packed I can't verify this.  I like to be sure, that the old mind isn't playing tricks.

In 1930 Col Juan Moran was also at Ft Riley, KS.  Col Moran had his family with him, even had a servant, too.  Oh, the old US Army.

There was a fire at the US Army records center and lots of Army records were lost.  Contact them and you could get what they have.  If Col Alexander's records were destroyed you can help  them reconstruct Col Alexander's by given them what official records you have. I read where this was being done.

Hope I helped you out and maybe some members of the PS can give you help too.  There is a Col John E. Olson, Ret, who was with the 57th Inf Reg, (PS) and he has written several books.  He lives in San Antonio, TX and maybe Sue Trout can put you in contact.  I talked with Col Olson on the phone and he is quite alert.  Maybe the similiar names will be familiar to him and he might have some more information on Col Alexander G. Olsen.

Regards,

Thomas McGeeney
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Rainbow Trout  aka Sue
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #2 - Jul 9th, 2008, 6:26pm
 
Peter, check your private messages for more help. Sue
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #3 - Jul 9th, 2008, 6:56pm
 
Thank you both, Sue and Tom.  Appreciate your help - I should have done this 10-20 years ago when so many of our heros were still alive.  Yes, I have gotten the available records at the Natl Personnel records Center in St. Louis - they are quite incomplete (nothing after 1935) and seem to be censored.  They mentioned the fire.  It's the barest FOI Act release, even tho we are the last living closest relatives - that law is a true shame!  Any way to get past it that you might know?  There are two totally different versions of his demise (one each on the Death March and Corregidor MIA) so I try to get to the truth.

I was in contact with Col. John Olson last year, but for some reason once I supplied details, no answer was ever heard.  Maybe he thought I spelled my name funny.....?  He may just have known nothing of "Swede".  It's a very touchy thing bringing up these old memories it seems - three individuals who were there on Bataan - two of them authors (Under the Samurai Sword, etc) stopped contact when I began asking things.  Very traumatic to me, as I realize what absolute #ell it must have been for them.  Swede wrote Feb. 17th 1942 "Awards for valor are being made by the hundreds so that they are becoming quite commonplace.  Most will go unrecognized for very obvious reasons - there was No one left to tell the tale".

Thanks again - I'll keep looking.

Peter
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #4 - Jul 9th, 2008, 10:53pm
 
Hello Peter,
Welcome to your search.  Angels do arrive here
and give some comfort to your broken heart. I posted
here a while back for very much the same reason as yourself. And the result was I found my long lost cousin that was lost to the family from the day my uncle Maj.
Karol Anthony Bauer was killed while a prisoner Dec. 15,
1944 - just a few weeks sooner than your G-Uncle. Due to the tragic circumstances, and the reluctance of uncle
Karol's 6 sisters, brother, and mother to discuss anything related to Karol for 60+ years -  we cousin's
were in the dark. With the passing of my father, and
uncle Karol's brother early in 1985 - I set out to find
my cousin Nancy Bauer. Because of this board, I found
Nancy, and her husband. We have since visited, and found out many details about each other. But it also has
brought the pain and suffering  to the surface - as it did
for Karol's family during and after the war.

The pain of loss is felt everyday.

I hope an angel comes to you  - and that your
somewhat at peace with the loss of your uncle Alexander.

Everyday is flag day -  3'x5' covering my front door by day, illuminated at night - In loving memory
of my uncle Karol.

my story is here:

 http://www.philippine-scouts.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Scouts;action=displ...

Best of luck and " STRENGTH TO ENDURE " (45th Inf.)

Creighton Demarest


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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #5 - Jul 10th, 2008, 2:26pm
 
Peter,

I have just been advised that Col Olson sometimes doesn't get back to people, mainly because of age.  He is responsible for the Philippine Scout Museum being located at Ft Sam Houston in Texas and he has written several books.  One, "Anytime Anywhere" I thoroughly enjoyed.  It's about the 57th Inf Reg (PS).

Regards,

Tom

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Tom
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #6 - Jul 14th, 2008, 11:19am
 
Peter: My wife's father Lt. Neil F. Hoyt who trained at Camp Hahn and went to the P.I. in mid 1941 was with the Quatermaster Scouts who we thought was on Bataan too; however, he was on the Corregidor captured list in May also.  We've been searching for any info re him: we know he was at Cabantuan, and then lost his life on the Arisan Maru in October 1944.  I'm sending this note in the hope that you will come across others who I might contact for more info on Lt. Hoyt.  I'm sorry I do not have any information on Lt. Col. Olsen.  Ralph Weber
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Re: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Olsen, US Cavalry
Reply #7 - Jul 16th, 2008, 5:46pm
 
Thanks for all this help folks.  One of the Scouts mentioned in the MIA report on Al was from the 57th Infantry regiment PS, Salvador Samson, also MIA and on the Tablets of the Missing.  I will have to get the book of John's.  I hope he is feeling OK.  God Bless -

Peter

PS I made a connection with Ms. Edna Binkowski, Author of "Highpockets", and may take the Bataan tour to see the battle of the Pockets and Bagac, where my uncle last fought before the 'end'.
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