In Memory of
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rapid City, South Dakota
Pennington County

November 19, 1916 -- May 15 1953
Died non-battle in Germany

John W. Osborn was born on November 19, 1916, near Lincoln, Nebraska, to Emment and Nora Osborn. In 1938, John married and he and his first wife had two sons, John W. and Charles R. Osborn served in WW II, stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, and was discharged in 1945, at which time he made Rapid City, South Dakota, his permanent home. After his discharge, he was self-employed as a farmer and rancher near Pactola. In 1951, he remarried in Rapid City; his wife’s name was Dorcus (Carlson), daughter of Clarence and Blanche Carlson, who moved from Philip to Rapid City in 1946.

Lt. Col. Osborn was recalled to active duty on April 11, 1951, at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He was sent overseas as Commander of the 60th Troop Carrier Group in Rheim, Mein, Germany. Mrs. Osborn accompanied her husband to Germany.

On May 15, 1953, Lt. Col. Osborn was among seven airman killed in a “triple collision of two C-119 Flying Box Cars and an F-84 Thunder jet in West Germany.” Although Mrs. Osborn had wanted to have her husband’s remains returned to Rapid City for burial, it was determined that separating the casualties’ remains would not be possible, so they were buried with military honors in a common grave at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Zach Robinson, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD, May 22, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an obituary sent to us by Ellen Bishop, Rapid City, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and Yvonne Feeney, Pierre, sister-in-law of John Osborn. No direct family contact made.