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Captain Alfred Olsen, USN  (RET)


Burial with Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery July 11, 2016 3PM. 

Captain Alfred Richard Olsen, Jr. USN (Ret), 91, a long term resident of Arlington, VA, died peacefully surrounded by family members of acute respiratory failure on October 31, 2015 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia. Born in Atlantic City, NJ on April 3, 1924, Alfred was the third of three children born to Alfred R. Sr. and Frances Keating Olsen of Ventnor, NJ. He entered the Naval Academy on July 11, 1941, graduating on June 7, 1944 in the Class of 1945. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and earned an MBA from The George Washington University. 

Capt. Olsen was a surface warfare officer, serving in eight ships, of which he commanded six. He took part in World War II in the Pacific, the Korean War, the 1958 Lebanon Landings, the 1962 blockade of Cuba, and the Viet Nam War. He commanded: USS ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD-962), USS QUACHITA COUNTY (LST-1071), USS LESTER (DE-1022); USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DD-932); USS SIERRA (AD-18); and USS BIDDLE (CG-34).                                

In 1953, he was executive officer of the ALLEN M. SUMNER en-route to Korea. His commanding officer was critically injured in an automobile accident in Colombo, Ceylon. Then-Lieutenant Olsen remained in command until the ship arrived three weeks later in Yokosuka, Japan. 

He also served as Chief of Staff to Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Four and on the staffs of the Commander Destroyer Force and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Ashore he twice served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and commanded the Naval Intelligence System Support Activity. In 1971, he was the principal surface warfare officer on the Cagle Board, which reorganized Navy training. He subsequently served as the first Director, Surface Warfare Training and Personnel Division.

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Vietnamese Distinguished Service Medal. He retired July 1, 1974. For the next 12 years, he worked for Raytheon Service Company, primarily in logistics planning. 

Capt. Olsen is Past President of the Class of 1945 Association; Past Chairman and Past Treasurer of the Class of 1945 Foundation; Past President of the Circumnavigators Club and Founder and Past National Treasurer of the Surface Navy Association. Today SNA has 6100 members, 25 chapters and 89 corporate members. 

He lived at Goodwin House for the last 11 years of his life, where he was Chairman of the Resident Council and sang in the Encore Chorale. He served as head usher at St. Annís Roman Catholic Church for 40 years. He enjoyed genealogy, gardening, traveling with family and ministering to others.  

Capt. Olsen was predeceased by his beloved wife of 57 years Dorothea McAnulty Olsen, his two sisters Ruth Coyle and Eleanor Weems and his daughter-in-law Deborah Sebastian Olsen. 

Left to cherish his memory are his grateful and devoted children Fran (Bob Houston) Olsen of VA, Al Olsen of SC, John Olsen of VA, Beth Olsen of GA, Charlie (Susan Mitchell) Olsen of FL and Dotty (Ted) Olsen-DeHon of FL; ten grandchildren Michael (Hilary Dauffenbach ĖTabb) Houston of DC, Liz Houston of VA, Laura Olsen of VA, Kate (Shawn Stocking) Olsen of VA, Sarah Olsen of VA, Andrew Tracewell of GA, Emily DeHon of FL, Luke DeHon of VA, Matthew Olsen of CO, and Charles Olsen of FL and one great granddaughter. 

Burial with Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery July 11, 2016 3PM. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Al Olsenís name to St. Annís Roman Catholic Church, 5300 N. 10th St., Arlington, VA 22205

 


 

 

Surface Navy Association

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