Voyage into the Wind

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About the author:
Col. William L. Osborne was decorated for heroism during World War II by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He retired in 1966 from a distinguished military career of 30 years and settled in Pebble Beach. He graduated in 1936 from the University of California at Los Angeles and was commissioned an Army second lieutenant four years later, joining the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord. He was stationed in the Philippines at the outbreak of World War II serving as a company commander with the Philippine Scouts until the fall of Bataan to Japanese invaders. Col. Osborne managed to avoid capture as Filipino sympathizers hid him in their homes for several months until he took to the sea in a small boat with another American, an Air Corps officer. Together, the two Americans, in a boat driven by a single-cylinder engine, survived attacks by Japanese fighter planes and escaped to Australia, where Col. Osborne was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by MacArthur, who was commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

Col. Osborne volunteered for Merrill's Marauders, a special force organized to conduct combat missions behind Japanese lines in the China-Burma-India theater. On one occasion Col. Osborne led a battalion of marauders in a successful attack to wrest a strategic Burma airfield from the Japanese. The Japanese had used the airfield at Myitkyina to intercept American planes crossing the mountains between India and China with supplies. The successful attack by American and Chinese allies on the airfield was mounted after a forced march through a 6,000-foot-high mountain pass. Col. Osborne was promoted to regimental commander of the 475th Infantry in recognition of his service with Merrill's Marauders. Col. Osborne was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame for outstanding service as a Ranger Officer in 1998. At the time of retirement, Col. Osborne was assistant chief of staff at the 6th Army, Presidio of San Francisco. Col. Osborne died in 1985 at the age of 71.

Voyage into the Wind

Authored by William L. Osborne

Voyage into the Wind

The daring escape from Bataan

Two men, one 22-foot boat, 3,200 miles.

One of the most amazing sagas of American bravery during World War II is the story of two men who wouldn't surrender - Captain William L. Osborne of the United States Army Infantry, and Captain Damon Gause, of the Army Air Corps. Driven by their indomitable will, these two American officers fought their way out of captivity in the Philippines and embarked on a hazardous journey through Japanese dominated land and sea-a journey that lasted 159 days, during every minute of which the constant threat of death hung over them.

Captain Osborne and Damon Gause, located a 22-foot sailboat with a diesel engine and tattered sails. With no charts or navigation equipment, and little fuel, the two men sailed south in the boat they named "Ruth-Lee" after their wives.

After a 3,200 mile hazardous journey through Japanese patrolled open seas, buffeted by storms and a typhoon, and strafed by enemy planes and patrol boats, they reached their destination. They were both awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General Douglas MacArthur for their exploits and logging detailed notes of Japanese troop dispositions, enemy shipping, names of service men who had not surrendered, including their serial numbers, and the state of Philippine morale.

Their intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon themselves and the United States Army.

Publication Date:
1490318917 / 9781490318912
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Military / World War II

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