Jun 6

Extraordinary heroism: Lieutenant Junior Grade Weedon E. Osborne

Monday, June 6, 2011 12:00 PM


Twenty-five-year-old Lieutenant Junior Grade Weedon E. Osborne moved resolutely among the wounded and dying Marines as German machine gunners traversed their weapons back and forth across the wheat fields and cut down determined Leathernecks until the barrels glowed hot, on 6 June 1918.

The Marines had pushed out that morning under a clear sky toward Bouresche at the southern edge of Belleau Wood, France, however, the Germans almost immediately opened up a withering fire on the Americans during what tragically became the bloodiest day in the Corps to that date.

In the hottest of the fighting Osborne threw himself zealously into rescuing wounded comrades. The young officer courageously went about his perilous task in the midst of almost continual fire, and repeatedly exposed himself while rescuing the fallen. A German gunner killed Osborne as he carried a wounded officer to a place of safety.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on 13 November 1892, Osborne trained as a dentist and was appointed a U.S. Navy Dental Surgeon and assigned to duty with the 6th Marines during WWI. For his “extraordinary heroism” on this occasion, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor. The Navy named destroyer Osborne (Destroyer No. 295; later DD 295) of 1920–31, in his honor.