Shell that downed Utahn in Nam finds him again (Dale Osborne)

On the Fourth of July, the 65-year-old former Navy pilot talked about his blessings while fingering the remnant of a 57-millimeter anti-aircraft shell that downed his plane in the Vietnam War.

Osborne managed to eject from his A-4 Skyhawk before it crashed, but it seems the 30-year-old casing has found him again, this time to remind him of life’s good things instead of to take them away.

The brass form was mailed to Osborne, who lives in Salt Lake City, last month, after surfacing in a suburb of Warsaw, Poland. A Vietnamese inscription on the casing, dated Sept. 23, 1968, reads, “Shell that shot down an A4 on the spot. A gift from the Nghe An Province (Air Defense) Group.”

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