Skip to main content

St. Paul airman finally makes it home – decades after being killed in Vietnam War

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

"Bob Olson will finally make it home, 47 years late."

That's what Maj. Robert Olson's obituary says, which was published this week, decades after the aircraft he was flying in was shot down over Laos.

Maj. Olson was deployed with the United States Air Force in Pleiku, Vietnam, and on Feb. 5, 1969 he and nine other airmen onboard were killed. Unable to identify the remains at the time, all the men were interred together at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, his obituary notes.

Family members have wanted to positively identify the remains to bring them home to each family, and thanks to advancements in DNA technology since the 1960s, Olson is coming home.

On Saturday afternoon, Olson's widow, Mary Kay Olson and four of their five children stood on the tarmac at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and watch an Air Force major place Olson's remains inside a hearse, the Star Tribune reports.

When Olson died, his five children were ages 9 and younger, his obituary notes.

Mary Kay Olson told the Star Tribune they all wondered where he was, and on Saturday they got their answer.

Olson will be interred at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery at 1 p.m. Monday, "this is where he would have come home to live after his deployment. This is where he will come home to stay," his obituary notes.

Olson, of St. Paul, graduated from Cretin High School in 1954 and was recently honored posthumously by his graduating class.

He went on to attend West Point Military Academy in 1958 before marrying his wife and starting a family. He completed his Master's degree in Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1968 and then was sent to Vietnam.

Next Up

image

Animal Humane Society plans trailblazing new campus

Take a look inside the plans for a first-of-its-kind adoption center and animal care campus.

syphilis

Minnesota reports 'concerning level' of syphilis cases

The Minnesota Department of Health says most of the cases are being discovered in the northern part of the state.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Airport police intercept 5,600 fentanyl pills headed to St. Cloud

Three were arrested following a police raid in St. Cloud.

covid

Minnesota switches to weekly COVID updates

The weekly updates will be provided on Thursdays.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 12.22.08 PM

Man shot inside Oakdale movie theater expected to survive

The 23-year-old victim underwent surgery and is recovering at the hospital.

monkeypox

Minnesota confirms second case of monkeypox virus

More cases are expected in the coming days and weeks, the health department says.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, June 29

One of the newly reported deaths was a person aged 15-19 from Yellow Medicine County.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 10.19.37 AM

Drone drops bag of candy near kids fishing

A black SUV quickly left the area afterwards.

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken to bring comedy tour to Minneapolis

Acme Comedy is hosting the former senator in late August.

Alabama

Alabama replaces Toby Keith as headliner at MN music festival

The Lakefront Music Festival is set to take place in Prior Lake on July 8-9.

Related