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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Osmus (DE 701)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - K - Z - H
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: China Service Medal
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Osmus (DE 701) Building and Operational Data:
  • 17 August 1943: Keel laid by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 04 November 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Louisa Osmus, Ensign Osmusís mother
  • 23 February 1944: Commissioned by Captain Rufus King, USN (ret.) at the Todd Johnson Shipyard, Algiers, La.; Cmdr. Richmond R. Jackson in command
  • 15 March 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 3 years and 1 month of service, having steamed 125,131 miles
  • 09 May 1947: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 01 December 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 27 November 1973: Sold for scrapping to the Levin Metals Corp. of San Jose, Cal.
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    36k Wesley Frank Osmus was born on 02 September 1918 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois, and later enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve at the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Chicago (Glenview), on 26 March 1940 as a seaman 2d class. He reported for elimination flight training at Glenview on 14 April. Upon completion of that period of instruction, he was released from active duty on 14 May, issued a discharge on 03 September 1940, and accepted an appointment as an aviation cadet the following day. Reporting to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, on 09 September 1940, for flight training, he later transferred to NAS Miami, Florida, for further instruction, on 12 March 1941, reporting for duty two days later. He received the designation as naval aviator on 25 March. Orders directed him to the Fleet Air Detachment, San Diego, California, for further flight training and he accepted his appointment as ensign, USNR, on 22 April. He reported to Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3, a unit of the Saratoga (CV 3) Air Group, on 15 August 1941.

    Torpedo Three carried out its training through the autumn of 1941. The Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 07 December 1941 found Saratoga at San Diego, following her refit at Puget Sound. She sailed for Hawaiian waters and over the next few weeks operated from Pearl, initially to cover a portion of the abortive attempt to relieve Wake Island in December 1941. Saratogaís torpedoing by Japanese submarine I-6 on 11 January 1942, however, meant sending her air group ashore to serve as a pool for the other carriers. Torpedo Three came to be based at NAS Kaneohe Bay, whence they flew out to Yorktown (CV 5) on 30 May 1942 as the ship headed out to a point northeast of Midway Island in Task Force 17. On the morning of 04 June 1942, with definite word of the position of the Japanese carrier striking force (Kido Butai) having been received, Yorktown launched her striking group. VT-3, screened by fighters from Fighting Squadron (VF) 3 and accompanied by Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, encountered Japanese Zero fighters that soon engaged the outnumbered VF-3 in desperate dogfights, drawing off the American escort. Only two of the 12 Devastators from VT-3 escaped the deadly melee, both ultimately ditching en route to friendly flight decks. Piloting the last plane in VT-3ís formation, Osmus was shot down during the run-in toward the Japanese fleet. While he managed to bail out of his burning Devastator, his radio-gunner, ARM3c Benjamin R. Dodson, either already dead or unable to do so, did not. Osmus was awarded a Navy Cross, posthumously.

    Post-war research in Japanese records of the Battle of Midway revealed that Osmus was picked up by the destroyer IJN Arashi, which was proceeding independently to rejoin the Kido Butai after an unsuccessful hunt for a U.S. submarine. Arashi soon arrived to find three of the forceís four carriers burning and out of action. Subjecting the injured young pilot to torture yielded information concerning the composition of the U.S. carrier task groups at Midway, but it availed the enemy little, for by the end of the day the last operational Japanese carrier had been disabled and the outcome of battle decided. Sometime later, most likely on the night of 04 June, Osmus was murdered by his captors. It seemed to be a fairly common practice of Japanese ship captains to tie weights to their bound prisoners and throw them overboard.

    USS Osmus (DE 701) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo Courtesy of the University of Illinois thanks to Eileen Goodchild - Veteransí Memorial Biographer)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    385k 19 April 1944: Boston, Mass. - Post-commissioning photo of USS Osmus (DE 701) taken off the Boston Navy Yard.

    (Photo courtesy of  Chris Wright)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    60k undated wartime image Wesley Duzmal
    53k USS Osmus (DE 701), of the 'Buckley' type, showing dazzle camouflage.

    [U.S. National Archives photo, from the book "Allied Escort Ships of World War II (A Complete Survey)", by Peter Elliott]
    Edib Krlicbegovic
    Bosnia - Hercegovina
    33k undated wartime image Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    213k circa November-December 1944: the Western Pacific Ocean - USS Osmus (DE 701) underway in the area of Ulithi Atoll, the Caroline Islands.
    Photographed from a USS Hamlin (AV 15) seaplane.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-K-2593 from the United States National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.

    Osmus Memorabilia
    Postal Cover
    Courtesy of
    Paul Petosky

    Osmus History
    View the USS Osmus (DE 701) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Osmus as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Osmus's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 23 Feb. 1944 - 09 Sep. 1944Cmdr. Richmond R. Jackson, USNR (San Diego, Cal.)
    2.) 09 Sep. 1944 - 28 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Beverly Wyckliffe Pattishall, USNR (Atlanta, Ga.)
    3.) 28 Nov. 1945 - 23 May 1946Lcdr. Alvin Peyton Cluster, USN (USNA '40) (St. Louis, Mo.)
    4.) 23 May 1946 - 17 Aug. 1946Lcdr. Donald R. Shaul, USNR (Los Angeles, Cal.)
    5.) 17 Aug. 1946 - 28 Feb. 1947Lcdr. Elphege Alfred Mailhot Gendreau Jr., USN (Washington, D.C.)
    6.) 28 Feb. 1947 - 15 Mar. 1947Lt. Wilbur Gordon Sherwood, USN (USNA '44) (Oakland, Cal.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

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    Page Last Updated: 28 March 2023