Richard Gene Osborne

Hanford, California

21 June 1967

Richard Osborne had turned 20 years old when he was drafted into the US Army after recently getting married. After basic training in the Infantry, he was quickly sent to Vietnam and assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cav Regiment of the infamous1st Cavalry.

Arriving on 21 May, he was placed in the northern part of South Vietnam in the VC-infested Province of Binh Dinh. One month later, to the day, he would be involved in a situation that would take his life while trying to save other soldiers next to him.

On June 21st, it was a day like any other day for thousands of soldiers throughout Vietnam. B Company was sent out on a search-and-destroy mission to locate identified VC troop movements. It didn’t take long to find them. The Company is under attack andbegin to push the enemy back. Air support from the 9th Cav is called in for support, and one of the assault helicopters is shot down, crashes and explodes; killing all 4 men in it.

Team leader Carmel Harvey was immediately directed to take a team and secure the crash site, not knowing if there were any survivors and to prevent the VC from ravaging any equipment or weapons from the craft. With him was his radio operator, RichardOsborne, and his medic, Edgar McWethy. Once at the site, they quickly established a defensive position, but soon thereafter they were under attack from a large enemy force from 3 sides.

Almost immediately, Harvey and Osborne are hit, and the medic rushes to their aid. On his way there, he is hit in the head and knocked to the ground. Getting back up to get to his wounded comrades, he is hit a second time in the leg. By time he gets there, Richard Osborne is mortally wounded, and his first aid allows SP4 Harvey to regain command of the situation. In the meantime, this brave medic hears another cry for help, and starts crawling over to the screams and is hit again. Although he is in extreme pain, he gives the soldier artificial respiration before being hit a fourth time with a fatal wound. The soldier he helped survives for yet another battle.

In the meantime, SP5 Harvey is under attack by machine gun fire. One round hit, and armed, a grenade attached to his belt. Knowing that within seconds it would go off and harm other men around him, he jumps up and rushes to the enemy location. Just before reaching the site, the grenade explodes, killing him and stunning the VC. This short lull in the firefight allows the team to get other injured soldiers out of harms way.

For their efforts and valor, both SP5 Harvey and his medic, SP4 McWethy are posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Lest we not forget the same heroic actions of Richard Osborne, the pilots and crew that came to their help, and the other soldiers that died valiantly that day.

Richard Osborne’s name is on the Vietnam Wall at Panel 22E, Line 32.

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