Veterans' Memorial Project

Wesley Frank Osmus
Chicago, IL

Photo of Wesley Frank Osmus

World War II

Years Attended: 1936--1938
College: Liberal Arts & Sciences
Service branch: Navy
Rank: Ensign
Date of Birth: 9/2/1918
Date of Death: 6/5/1943


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Ensign Osmus enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1940. He was commissioned Ensign April 3, 1941. His flight training was completed August, 1941 at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Miami and was assigned to duty aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. He died as a result of enemy action when the plane of which he was pilot was shot down at the Battle of Midway, June 4, 1942. He was reported Missing in Action until his official date of death of June 5, 1943. He was aboard the aircraft carrier Saratoga in Hawaii at the time he was reported missing. Ensign Osmus was posthumously awarded the American Defense Medal (Fleet Clasp), Purple Heart, and Navy Cross with the following citation:

"For extraordinary herosim as pilot of an airplane of Torpedo Squadron Three in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. Participating in a torpedo plane assault against Japanese naval units, Ensign Osmus, in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, pressed home his attack to a point where it became relatively certain that, in order to accomplish his mission, he would probably sacrifice his life. Undeterred by the grave possibilities of such a hazardous offensive, he carried on, with extreme disregard for his own personal safety, until his squadron scored direct hits on two enemy aircraft carriers. His self sacrificing gallantry and fortitude were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Ensign Osmus is listed as Missing in Action or Buried at Sea on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii.

A Buckley-class destroyer escort, U.S.S. OSMUS, was named after Ensign Osmus and sponsored by his mother, Mrs. Louise Osmus of Chicago, Illinois. The U.S.S. OSMUS was built by Defoe Shipbuilding Corporation and launched at its yard at Bay City, Michigan on November 4, 1943. It was commissioned on February 23, 1944.

-submitted by Wesley Duzmal, Cousin