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Voyage into the Wind Paperback – Large Print, July 18, 2013
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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.