View Full Version : February 20, 1942...Lt. Butch O'Hare

02-20-2008, 06:38 AM

Chicago's airport is named for him.

02-20-2008, 06:38 AM

Chicago's airport is named for him.

02-20-2008, 07:20 AM
And Chicago's second airport, Midway, is named after the Battle of Midway.

Has a nice SBD Dauntless hanging from the ceiling.

02-20-2008, 07:35 AM
First documented American ace in a single sorty; one has to wonder if his skills might have made the difference for the Lexington at Coral Sea. His squadron was certainly a lot weaker without him.



02-20-2008, 09:51 AM
This past Christmas eve day, my wife and I were hustling through O'hare airport when we rounded a corner and there was a Wildcat sitting there in the terminal. If we hadn't had only twenty minutes between flights I would have loved to spend a little more time checking it out. As it was, I kind of dragged my feet and then had to catch up with her.

02-20-2008, 10:39 AM
I told this story here a few years ago, but worth repeating here...

Went to dinner at a colleague's house, nicknamed 'Butch.' (real name is Edward). Supernice guy.

In his living room is a beautiful scale model of, if I recollect, a Hellcat.

When I asked Butch about it, he said it was a replica of his Uncle's plane, the one who he is named after.

Butch O'Hare.

BTW, my friend Butch hunts, mostly birds, and is a hell of a shot.

02-20-2008, 01:38 PM
His death also has a bit of mystery to it.

On the night of 26 November 1943, the Enterprise introduced the experiment in the co-operative control of Avengers and Hellcats for night fighting, when the three-plane team from the ship broke up a large group of land-based bombers attacking Task Group TG 50.2. O'Hare volunteered to lead this mission to conduct the first-ever Navy nighttime fighter attack from an aircraft carrier to intercept a large force of enemy torpedo bombers. When the call came to man the fighters, Butch O'Hare was eating. He grabbed up part of his supper in his fist and started running for the ready room. He was dressed in loose marine coveralls. The night fighter unit consisting of 1 VT and 2 VF was catapulted between 1758 and 1801. The pilots for this flight were Butch O'Hare and Ensign Warren Andrew "Andy" Skon of VF-2 in F6Fs and the Squadron Commander of VT-6, LCMDR. John C. Phillips in a TBF1-C. The crew of the TBF torpedo plane consisted on Lt.(jg) Hazen B. Rand, a radar specialist and Alvin Kernan, A. B., AOM1/c. The 'Black Panthers', as the night fighters were dubbed, took off before dusk and flew out into the incoming mass of Japanese planes.

Confusion and complications endangered the success of the mission. The Hellcats first had trouble finding the Avenger, the FDO had difficulty guiding any of them on the targets. O'Hare and Ensign W. Skon in their F6F Hellcats finally got into position behind the Avenger. Butch O'Hare had been well aware of the deadly danger of friendly fire in this situation - he radioed to the Avenger Pilot of his section, "Hey, Phil, turn those running lights on. I want to be sure it's a yellow devil I'm drilling."

O'Hare was last seen at the 5 o'clock position of the TBF. About that time, the turret gunner of the TBF, Alvin Kernan (AOM1/c) noticed a Japanese G4M Betty bomber above and almost directly behind O'Hare's 6 o'clock position. Kernan opened fire with the TBF's .50-cal. machine gun in the dorsal turret and a Japanese gunner fired back. Butch O'Hare's F6F Hellcat apparently was caught in a crossfire. Seconds later Butch's F6F slid out of formation to port, pushing slightly ahead at about 160 knots and then vanished in the dark. The Avenger pilot, Lieutenant Commander Phillips, called repeatedly to O'Hare but received no reply. Ensign Skon responded: "Mr. Phillips, this is Skon. I saw Mr. O'Hare's lights go out and, at the same instant, he seemed to veer off and slant down into darkness." Phillips later asserted, as the Hellcat dropped out of view, it seemed to release something drop almost vertically at a speed too slow for anything but a parachute. Then something "whitish-gray" appeared below, perhaps the splash of the aircraft plunging into the sea.

In flight near Naval Air Station, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii, 10 April 1942.
The planes are Bureau # 3976 (marked "F-1"), flown by VF-3 Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander John S. Thach, and Bureau # 3986, flown by Lieutenant Edward H. O'Hare.
Both of these aircraft were lost while assigned to Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2) with USS Lexington (CV-2), during the Battle of Coral Sea in May 1942.

02-20-2008, 02:48 PM
An incredible feat of flying and gunnery. Best analysis: THE FIRST TEAM, Lundstom. Recent bio of O'Hare:

FATEFUL RENDEZVOUS: THE LIFE OF BUTCH O'HARE. Steve Ewing and John Lundstrom. (now in paperback)




02-24-2008, 11:44 AM
I downloaded his missien for PF and got ready ti kill some Japs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
but uh.. first contact got me killed in 2 minutes so.. yeah.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif