Carl A Osberg

Graduating class of 1938



Nicknamed “Olaf.” Carl Osberg attended Central High School during the mid-1930’s, graduating in February 1938. He took the college course, was a football player of some skill, and, among other things, contributed literary items to student publications. After graduation, Carl entered Cornell University. With war threatening, Carl left college in 1940 and joined the United States Naval Reserve and became a naval pilot. When war with Japan was finally declared, Carl was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in the Pacific Fleet, a pilot in a torpedo bomber squadron. As fate would have it, the Yorktown played a major role in the Battle of Midway, one of the greatest naval battles ever fought. This battle was unique in that, on both sides, it was fought by airplanes against ships, not by gunfire between surface ships. Osberg’s torpedo squadron was sent into battle against very heavy odds, a mission from which few returned, and Carl Osberg was among those missing in action. For his bravery and sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. The award citation reads as follows: “In the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, Ensign Osberg pressed home his attack to a point where...he would probably sacrifice his life. Undeterred by the grave possibilities...he carried on with extreme disregard for his own personal safety until his squadron scored direct hits on two enemy aircraft carriers.” In 1945, a newly launched US Navy destroyer escort was named the USS Osberg in Carl’s honor. For his courage, bravery and ultimate sacrifice, Carl Osberg richly deserves admission into the Central High School Hall of Fame.