Ensign LeClaire “Bud”Olsen, Aviator, United States Navy, WW II (Paynesville, MN)
Possibly among the finest high school athletes ever to come out of the State of Minnesota, Bud Olsen, earned 14 letters in his high school athletic career, lettering in basketball, football, track and baseball. After high school, he moved on to Macalester College for a year before transferring to the University of Minnesota, where he intended to play football and study dentistry.
However, the war intervened and in November of 1942 Bud enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps. He was killed in the Pacific on Dec. 2, 1944, when his plane, a Grumman TBF Avenger, crashed during a landing attempt on the light carrier Belleau Wood, went into the water and sank within seconds. His body was never recovered.
To the Uncle I never met. – RIP