Dale Osborne was born in 1933 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on April 1, 1951, and went into the Utah Air National Guard in November 1952. Osborne entered Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School on August 27, 1956, and after receiving his commission and designation as a Naval Aviator, he flew in anti-submarine squadrons in the P2V Neptune and S2E Tracker. He flew combat missions in Southeast Asia with Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 21 from the USS Kearsarge from August to October 1966, and later transitioned to flying the A-4 Skyhawk, where he again flew combat missions in Southeast Asia starting in August 1968. On September 23, 1968, Osborne was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War. He spent the next 1,603 days in captivity and was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. Commander Osborne was medically retired from the Navy on April 1, 1975.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. In October 1968, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.