Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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Pvt. Ernest James Osborne
U.S.M.C., 80th Co., 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment
July 3, 1895 - June 3, 1918

     The name "Lucky Five," is a result of the induction of men into
the United States Service in the City of Evansville, Indiana, and
designates a fighting quintet of soldiers which was represented in two
branches of service, the Marine and Infantry.  They were members of
the Glass Bottle Blowers' Association of the United States and Canada,
and were employed at the Graham Glass factory when they entered the
bloodiest of all wars.  Since their early childhood they have been closely
associated, and for many years they have worked side by side in the
Graham factory.

     Then war came, and by a fortunate coincident, they found themselves
destined to enter the great world conflict together. These five men who
were even working at the same furnace, were the first five men at the
Graham factory to be accepted for service either by enlistment or draft.
This, coupled with the fact that they held the distinction of being
recruited in the home town of the first American soldier to lay down his
life on the shrine of freedom, and the privilege that they too were to
take part in the dissolution of the German dream of despotism, inspired
them to form their little organization which they called the "Lucky Five."

     When the war ended the only one of the "Lucky Five" who did
not come back was Ernest James Osborne, the Marine.  He was Evansville's
second Marine to give his life in battle, and earned for her the third
gold star.

     Osborne was the son of John F. and Josephine Osborne.  He was
born in Loogootee, Indiana, July 3, 1895.  He was a graduate of St.
John's parochial school there, and was attending high school when he
took up the glass blowing trade.  He was finally transferred to the
headquarters of the Graham Glass Company in Evansville, where he
remained until he enlisted May 22, 1917.  He was given military training
at Port Royal and Paris Island, S. C., and at Quantico, Va.  He was
assigned to the 80th Co., 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment, U.S.M.C.,
A.E.F.  He sailed for oversea service in January, 1918.  By April
he had taken part in two sharp engagements with the enemy.  He
qualified as a sharpshooter, and was one of a machine-gun squad.  He
made a good record as a soldier and was proud of being a Marine.  He
carried out the traditions of the family, as his father was a Civil War
Veteran and had served in Co. G, 10th Kentucky Infantry.  The young
Marine was killed in France June 3, 1918, (just one month to the day
before he would have attained his twenty-third birthday), while in the
thick of the fight in which the Marines drove the enemy from their
footholds just northwest of Chateau-Thierry near the Marne.  Their
bold dash at the German forces proved fatal to him, but he fell a hero
while gallantly fighting and pressing forward in the last of a series
of victories of the daring Marines.

     In his last letter from the trenches dated May 16, 1918, he
strangely forecasted the drive of the Marines on the German lines, when
he said, "Wait until we Americans make our drive, then there will be a
change.  The enemy will then be through with their drives forever."
The next news of him was a dispatch from overseas which contained:
Ernest James Osborne killed in action.  He had finished his fighting
on a battlefield near Marne, and this daring Marine's body now lies
in the American Cemetery Commune Essommes-Sur Marne, Aisne, France.

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
pp. 128-129
October 25, 1998