Osher, Ernest K., Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1056-Pilot, Two-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 1065, 95th Fighter Squadron - Boneheads
Service Years
1941 - 1970

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

23 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Osher, Ernest K., Col.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Twelve Mile Lake Township
Last Address
Maitland, FL

Date of Passing
Sep 26, 1980
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Ernest K. Osher was born on August 26, 1918, in Twelve Mile Lake Township, IA, the son of Edward B. and Kate Jensen Osher. He graduated from Gaettinger High School in Palo Alto County in 1935, and early on, showed his love for flying.

He attended Estherville Junior College in 1937 where he enrolled in a government-sponsored flight program of Civil Pilot Training. He had accomplished all the required cross-country flights by December 20, 1940, and became eligible to receive his private pilot's license.

He enrolled in Iowa State College in Ames in 1939, but on March 15, 1941, joined the Army Air Corps and was accepted into Aviation Cadet training. He took his basic and primary training at Corsicana and Randolph Field, TX, Osher graduated on October 31, 1941, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.

On December 7, 1941, he was stationed in Portland, OR, flying P-36s and P-43s as a member of the 37th Pursuit Squadron of the 55th Pursuit Group. The organization was renamed the 55th Fighter Group in a realignment of forces.

In May 1942, he assisted to activate the 82nd Fighter Group by transitioning into and flying P-38s with the 95th Fighter Squadron. The unit went to Eglington, Ireland for training in Spitfires and P-38s. Combat training ended in December 1942.

The unit had been attached to the Eighth Air Force, but saw no combat in spite of the mission requirements. In November 1942 the unit was transferred to the Twelfth Air Force, and almost immediately transferred to the Fifteenth Air Force, and was sent to North Africa.

From the base at Berteaux, Algeria, Osher flew 52 combat missions. The main emphasis was bomber escort duty with bombers from the Ninth Air Force. His first aerial victory came on January 29, 1943 when he shot down a BF-109. He added a kill in March, and then three more in May, attaining ace status. He was promoted to Major and assigned as Squadron Commander of the 95th Fighter Squadron.

After approximately seven months, he had completed his combat tour and returned to the United States. He remained on active duty with the Air Force until he retired in 1970. His official combat record was 52 combat mission, 5 aerial kills, 4 enemy aircraft probably destroyed, 4 additional ones damaged.

Colonel Ernest K. Osher passed away on September 26, 1980, and was buried in Riverside (now Wallingford Lutheran Cemetery) in Emmet County. IA

Article by Ruth Hackett
"Aces of the Mighty 8th," Jerry Scott and John Stanaway
"American Fighter Aces Album," edited by Col. J. Ward Baja, (retired)
Other Comments:

When in combat, Ernest Osher flew P-38 #43-2112, named "Sad Sack."

Special note:

The gravestone at Colonel Osher's grave has, along with his name, birth, and death dates an inscription that reads:
 "WWII, Korea, Vietnam
  An American Fighter Ace"

It is not known if the inscription refers to his service in the times noted. No record of his service past 1945 has been located. No biographer mentions him actually serving in the noted countries except for his World War II service. An official Air Force photograph of him after he was promoted to colonel has no awards or decorations to indicate service within those countries. In fact, a transcription of awards by him list only the ones shown in this remembrance.
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight School55th Fighter Group37th Pursuit Squadron, Twin Engine82nd Fighter Squadron
95th Fighter Squadron  - Boneheads
  1941-1941, AAF MOS 1055, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1941-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 55th Fighter Group
  1941-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 37th Pursuit Squadron, Twin Engine
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1056, 82nd Fighter Squadron
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1056, 95th Fighter Squadron - Boneheads
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1065, 95th Fighter Squadron - Boneheads
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 Colleges Attended 
Iowa State University
  1937-1938, Others/Not Listed
  1938-1940, Iowa State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
PT-13 Stearman  PT-19 Trainer  P-36 Hawk  P-43 Lancer  
Supermarine Spitfire  P-38 Lightning (Forked Tail Devil)  
  1939-1939, PT-13 Stearman
  1939-1940, PT-19 Trainer
  1941-1942, P-36 Hawk
  1941-1942, P-43 Lancer
  1942-1942, Supermarine Spitfire
  1942-1943, P-38 Lightning (Forked Tail Devil)
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