Paul Olson was born on October 13, 1920, in Oil City, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on September 19, 1942, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Napier Field, Georgia, on December 5, 1943. Lt Olson next completed P-51 Mustang training, and deployed to England in May 1944, where he joined the 368th Fighter Squadron of the 359th Fighter Group. He was credited with the destruction of 5 enemy fighters in a single engagement on December 18, 1944, making him an Ace in a Day, but was also himself shot down and taken as a Prisoner of War that same day. Lt Olson was held at Stalag 6G in Bonn, Germany, from December 1944 until he was released at the end of the war on April 29, 1945. After returning to the States, he received an honorable discharge on December 10, 1945. Paul Olson died on June 15, 2007, and was buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.