2022 Hall of Fame Inductee
University of South Dakota (1941)
Capt. Arlo L. Olson was born on April 20, 1918, in Greenville, Iowa.
He attended the University of South Dakota where he completed both a business degree and the Army ROTC program. He graduated in 1940 and received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1941.
Olson found himself serving in World War II.
Olson made 1st Lieutenant on February 1, 1942, and was made Captain on December 1st of the same year.
October 27, 1943, he began leading his company in a drive across the Volturno River in Italy. That very day found Olson under heavy, direct, and close enemy fire. For thirteen days, Olson led combat patrols, acted as company scout, and maintained unbroken contact with the enemy as he spearheaded the capture of a mountain position above the river on the summit of Monte San Nicola.
On October 27, Olson was conducting a reconnaissance for defensive positions when he was fatally wounded. Ignoring his wounds, he completed the reconnaissance and supervised the location of his men in the best defense positions. He ignored medical aid until all his men had received care. Olson died being carried down the mountain on October 28,1943. Trisolini, a witness of his acts, said “He was one who did not send any of his men into the kind of thing he wouldn’t walk into himself.”
Arlo’s remains were returned to the United States, and he was buried in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He left behind a wife and daughter.
His military honors and awards include the Medal of Honor and the Silver Star and the Italian Cross of Valor. His memory is honored with the naming of a transport ship, USNS Capt. Arlo L. Olson, and local Legion Post #81, which was renamed to the Erickosn-Olson Post in 1943.
About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame
The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.
The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.
Read more about the 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees.