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O'Hare, Edward Henry "Butch"

    Date of birth:
    March 13th, 1914 (St.Louis/Minnesota, United States)
    Date of death:
    November 26th, 1943 (Tarawa, Pacific)
    Service number:
    0-078672
    Nationality:
    American (1776 - present, Republic)

    Biography

    Promotions:
    June 1937: Ensign;
    1941: Lieutenant (junior grade);
    ?: Lieutenant;
    April 1942: Lieutenant Commander

    Career:
    June 1937: U.S.S. New Mexico (BB-40);
    May 1940: Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-3), U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3);
    1942: Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-3), U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2);
    June 1942: Commanding Officer Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3);
    1943: Commanding Officer Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6), U.S.S. Independence (CVL-22);
    November 1943: Commannding Officer Air Group 6, U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Lieutenant
    Unit:
    Navy Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3), U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2), U.S. Navy
    "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in aerial combat, at grave risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, as section leader and pilot of Fighting Squadron 3 on 20 February 1942. Having lost the assistance of his teammates, Lt. O'Hare interposed his plane between his ship and an advancing enemy formation of 9 attacking twin-engine heavy bombers. Without hesitation, alone and unaided, he repeatedly attacked this enemy formation, at close range in the face of intense combined machinegun and cannon fire. Despite this concentrated opposition, Lt. O'Hare, by his gallant and courageous action, his extremely skillful marksmanship in making the most of every shot of his limited amount of ammunition, shot down 5 enemy bombers and severely damaged a sixth before they reached the bomb release point. As a result of his gallant action--one of the most daring, if not the most daring, single action in the history of combat aviation--he undoubtedly saved his carrier from serious damage."
    Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Lieutenant Commander
    Unit:
    Fighting Squadron 2 (VF-2), U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6), U.S. Navy
    Awarded on:
    August 1944
    Navy Cross
    "For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron TWO (VF-2), embarked from the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), and deployed over Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, in action against enemy Japanese forces on 26 November 1943. When warnings were received of the approach of a large force of Japanese torpedo bombers, Lieutenant Commander O'Hare volunteered to lead a fighter section of aircraft from his carrier, the first time such a mission had been attempted at night, in order to intercept the attackers. He fearlessly led his three-plane group into combat against a large formation of hostile aircraft and assisted in shooting down two Japanese airplanes and dispersed the remainder. Lieutenant Commander O'Hare's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
    Awarded posthumously.
    Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 329 (August 1944).
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Lieutenant Commander
    "For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Commander of a Fighting Squadron during the attack on Marcus Island, 31 August 1943. He led his squadron in successful and effective strafing attacks in the face of enemy anti-aircraft fire and thereby contributed to the destruction of all ground airplanes and virtually eighty percent of the installations on the island. His exceptional ability to organize and the leadership, judgment, and courage that he displayed contributed materially to the success of the attack. His conduct through was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Lieutenant Commander
    Unit:
    Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6), U.S. Navy
    "For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the line of his profession as Squadron Commander, Fighting Squadron SIX (VF-6), during operations of United States Naval Forces against Wake Island on 5 October 1943. Upon sighting three enemy fighter planes south of Wake Island, he overtook and single-handedly shot down one of the enemy planes while his unit accounted for the remaining two. In so doing he led his unit in pursuit of a fleeing and damaged enemy down to the runway on Wake Island, where, after this plane was disposed of, he, and his three followers in the face of a concentration of anti-aircraft installations destroyed two twin-engine bombers and a fourth fighter on the ground. Following this action upon intercepting a third twin-engine bomber 20 miles south of Wake Island, he closed with it in an attack so successful that it was in a fatally crippled condition before another plane of his unit joined in its final destruction. His aggressiveness and leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
    Second DFC received in the form of a golden star to be worn on the ribbon of the first DFC.
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Lieutenant Commander
    Awarded posthumously.
    Purple Heart

    Sources

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