Westminster man secures posthumous Purple Heart in tribute to WWII veteran father

World War II Air Force veteran Major Richard Olson never discussed his military service with his son, Dick Olson.

“I didn’t have all that much time to be asking these questions while he was at home,” Dick, a Westminster resident, told the Denver Post in an interview. “He was a distant father, and I imagine a lot of that came from what happened to him during the war and in service.”

After Richard died, Dick turned to military archives, old photos and interviews with the surviving members of his father’s B-24 Liberator airplane crew to learn about the veteran’s journey. Through his research, Dick discovered that his father, despite being seriously injured in a plane crash before enduring months as a prisoner of war, had never received a Purple Heart.

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