Omaha, Nebraska , United States
|| 00, 1974
Jun 11, 2013 12:38pm
|Info||Shane Osborn was born in South Dakota in 1974 and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska, by his single mother, Diana Osborn. Diana worked as a nurse at the veteran’s home where Shane was exposed at a very young age to men who had sacrificed for their country, leaving a lasting impression of the importance of service above self. |
From the age of three, Shane dreamed of being a pilot. He began learning the skills he would need to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary branch of the U.S. Air Force, when he was just twelve years old.
In 1992, Shane attended the University of Nebraska on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with an emphasis in Statistics and Actuarial Science, in 1996. It wasn’t until he graduated from the Naval ROTC program at the University of Nebraska and went to flight school that his dream of flying for the Navy became a reality.
Osborn was assigned to the "World Watchers" Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One. He flew surveillance missions over Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, South America, and in the Asian Pacific area. For five years, Osborn practiced rigorous training exercises, working tirelessly day in and day out until he advanced from navy pilot to mission commander.
While on a surveillance missions in the South China Sea, they were routinely harassed by Chinese military fighter jets. On April 1, 2001, all of Shane’s flying skills were put to the test when a Chinese F-8 II fighter jet collided with his EP-3E ARIES II plane in international airspace. The impact severely damaged Osborn’s aircraft, knocking the huge EP-3 Aries II plane out of control causing his large 4 engine aircraft to lose over 8000 feet in an inverted dive. The Chinese aircraft crashed into the ocean and its pilot, Wang Wei, was presumed dead.
With almost certain disaster looming, Osborn managed to gain control of the crippled plane and land it safely on the Chinese island of Hainan, saving the lives of his twenty-three crewmates. Shane and his crew were held for 11 days by Chinese authorities, heightening tensions between the U.S. and China. During this dark time, he credits his ability to maintain calm and help protect his crew by his deep faith in God and unwavering loyalty to America.
President Bush spoke with Osborn via telephone on one leg of the return flight to American soil, saying: "As an old F-102 pilot, let me tell you, Shane, you did a heck of a job bringing that aircraft down. You made your country proud." Shane was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in flight.
In 2002, Shane became a partner in a successful small family owned business, a home improvement company he helped run for three years. The company added value to homes by sunroom additions. Shane knows the trials of meeting a payroll and starting a small business from scratch.
In 2003, Shane married Teri Gallagher. They have a son Avery and a daughter Isabella. On May 1, 2005, Shane retired from nine years of active duty and returned to Nebraska with his wife and children. He is currently employed by SilverStone Group, a financial services firm in Omaha, Nebraska, leading their Aviation Risk Services Division. Shane also spends time motivational speaking and fund raising for numerous charities and other nonprofit associations.