Name: Geoffrey Holmes Osborn
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Fighter Squadron 194 (VF-194)
Date of Birth: 17 December 1939
Home City of Record: Winter Park FL
Date of Loss: 24 September 1965
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 185937N 1073644E (YG750020)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E
Refno: 0153
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.


SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.

The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for
photo reconnaissance.

The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war.

Lt. JG Geoffrey H. Osborn was the pilot of an F8E conducting a flight over
the Gulf of Tonkin on September 24, 1965. At a point about 70 miles from Hai
Nan Island, Osborn's aircraft crashed. Little hope was held out for his
survival and he was declared Killed/Body Not Recovered. Osborn's loss is
listed as a non-hostile casualty.

Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous
circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It
probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country
they proudly served.


Subject: Submission
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 15:12:44 +0000
From: William M. Killian <wkillian@pvhspanthers.org>
To: info@pownetwork.org <info@pownetwork.org>

On September 24, 1965, LTJG Geoffrey H. Osborn was the pilot of a U.S. Navy F-8E Crusader jet aircraft (#150668) from Fighter Squadron 194 (VF-194) making a night catapult launch from the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) when it crashed into the South China Sea. The launch appeared normal and the aircraft began a normal rate of climb to an estimated altitude of 200 feet at which point it commenced a slow rate of descent. The afterburners remained operational until impact, approximately one quarter mile ahead of the ship. At impact, the Crusader exploded. No erratic flight conditions nor ejection attempts were observed. A search was conducted, but no sight of the pilot or aircraft were seen. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org]


Submitted by William M. Killian