Inspiring the Nation – “Butch” O’Hare Became the 1st Naval Aviator to be Awarded MoH

H/T War History OnLine.

 Edward “Easy Eddie,” J. O’Hare  made a deal with the feds to help put Al Capone in prison so his son could get into the Naval Academy and it cost him his life.  

             

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward “Butch” O’Hare holds the distinction of being the first Naval Aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor—the United States’ highest military honor—during World War II. His accomplishments as a fighter pilot are incredible in their own right. However, there are a plethora of story lines regarding this modest, unassuming young hero.

Have you ever read between the lines of a Medal of Honor citation, and wondered just what the recipient was like, and what other details surrounded the heroic action described in the award citation?

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to O’HARE, EDWARD HENRY

Who exactly was Lieutenant O’Hare?

Ensign O’Hare.

Rank and Organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy. Born: 13 March 1914, St. Louis, Mo. Entered Service at: St. Louis, Mo.

Behind these dry facts figuratively stands a man who was a human like anyone else, though perhaps with a more unique childhood than others. He was the son of Edward “Easy Eddie,” J. O’Hare, a successful lawyer and dog track operator who dabbled in flying airplanes on the side—and who familiarized his teenage son, nicknamed “Butch,” with flying as well.

Unfortunately, as the notorious Al Capone’s former lawyer and business associate turned government witness, Easy Eddie was murdered by unidentified gunmen in 1939.

Pilots of US Navy Fighting Squadron VF-3: Front row, second from right: Lt. Edward Butch O’Hare.

The younger O’Hare took a much different path in life. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1937, served for two years on the battleship USS New Mexico, and completed Navy flight training in Pensacola, Florida in May 1940. Officially a Naval Aviator, Ensign O’Hare was ordered to Fighter Squadron Three (VF-3) aboard USSSaratoga, which was based in San Diego, California.

The next twenty months were eventful for Butch. During that time, VF-3 bounced fromSaratoga, to USS Enterprise, back to Saratoga, and finally was reassigned to USSLexington after the United States entered World War II and Saratoga was damaged by a Japanese torpedo. Butch, meanwhile, made a name for himself as a gifted aviator and marksman, and by January 1942 he had received a temporary promotion to Lieutenant.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2).

His commanding officer, John Thach, said of him,

“He had a sense of timing and relative motion that he may have been born with, but also he had that competitive spirit. When he got into any kind of a fight like this, he didn’t want to lose….When he first got to the squadron he studied all the documents that we had on aerial combat, and he just picked it up much faster than anyone else I’ve ever seen. He got the most out of his airplane.”

Other Navy awards: Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 gold star.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Butch received these three awards after his Medal of Honor: the Distinguished Flying Crosses in August and October 1943, and the Navy Cross posthumously, because in the face of an imminent Japanese attack on Lexington’s task group near Tarawa, Butch “personally organized and voluntarily led the first night fighter section of aircraft to operate from a carrier, at night, against enemy aircraft, although he well knew the hazard involved.”

Hazardous indeed, for Butch never returned from that night mission in November 1943.

Medal of Honor presentation on April 21, 1942: President Roosevelt, Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy (behind FDR), Admiral Ernest King, Edward O’Hare and his wife Rita.

Citation:

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,

According to John Thach, Lexington only launched a handful of planes, including his own, when the first formation of enemy bombers approached. Thach ordered Butch and his wingman, along with some others, to stay near Lexington as combat air patrol, while Thach’s group went to investigate where the Japanese planes had come from and hopefully intercept any others.

Obviously, they missed the second wave of incoming bombers. Of the pilots left behind, all but Butch and his wingman were too far away to intercept the Japanese before they would get within bombing distance of Lexington.

Lt. O’Hare interposed his plane between his ship and an advancing enemy formation of 9 attacking twin-engine heavy bombers.

Publicity footage of O’Hare and Thach at Kaneohe Naval Air Station, April 10, 1942.

The Japanese planes were Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers, code-named “Betty” by the Allies, and were actually medium bombers. They were land-based, long-range aircraft that could carry over 2,000 pounds of bombs each. Nine of them were bad news for Lexington.

Without hesitation, alone and unaided, he repeatedly attacked this enemy formation, at close range in the face of intense combined machinegun and cannon fire.

Butch and his wingman were the only ones close enough to try to stop the Japanese in time—but the wingman’s machine guns all jammed at that crucial moment. Butch’s Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter was now the sole aircraft “in the right place, at the right time” that was able to immediately defend the carrier.

O’Hare stands beside a F4F-3 Wildcat.

Butch had four .50 caliber Browning machine guns with which to shoot at the approaching bombers, but as the sole occupant of his plane, he had to fly and shoot. The Bettys, by contrast, were manned by a crew of seven men, and were each armed with three 7.7mm machine guns as well as a 20mm “cannon”, all operated manually by separate gunners. Four guns against thirty-six: talk about overwhelming odds!

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.

F4F-3A Wildcats

The Browning AN/M2 machine guns in Butch’s Wildcat were capable of holding 450 rounds each, enough for only 30-40 seconds of continuous fire, and he had nine targets! His marksmanship skills served him well as he shot down five bombers so quickly and effectively that eyewitnesses reported watching three of them fall simultaneously. The remaining bombers failed to land any hits on the carrier.

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.

There is little doubt that Butch O’Hare’s heroic actions ensured that Lexington lived to fight another day, but what he did would also have a larger and more significant impact on the nation as a whole.

Twenty-one years later, while giving a speech to re-dedicate the naming of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in Butch’s honor, President John F. Kennedy summarized that impact:

“I remember as a young naval officer myself how the extraordinary feat of “Butch” O’Hare captured the imagination not only of our Armed Forces but also of the country.

His extraordinary act in protecting his ship…while he was alone, shooting down five of the enemy, during difficult days in the Second War, gave this country hope and confidence not only in the quality and caliber of our fighting men, but also in the certainty of victory.”

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Audie Murphy: More than a WWII Hero and Movie Star

H/T War History OnLine.

Audie Leon Murphy was a man’s man.

Undoubtedly, the Second World War has always been a favorite subject for movies. Many actors have played in war films, everyone from John Wayne to Tom Hanks.

During the war, many Hollywood actors served their country with distinction, at home and in combat, men like James Stewart, Clark Gable, and a host of others. But Audie Murphy was more than just a Hollywood star—he was one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War II.

Perhaps the best part of the story with Murphy is the fact that he was admittedly flawed in many ways just like the rest of us. His story is not one of a shooting star, but rather one of endeavoring through the highs and lows in life while rising to the occasion when needed.

Photo of Audie Murphy as Tom Smith from the television program Whispering Smith.

Audie Murphy’s Early Life

Audie Leon Murphy was born on June 20, 1924, son of poor Texas sharecroppers. The Depression hit the family hard, and Audie once recalled that the family lived in an “honest to goodness shack.” His father abandoned the family, and when Audie was 17 his mother died. That left him the sole support of 10 siblings. To supplement the family’s meager rations, Audie would hunt rabbits, using a slingshot when he couldn’t afford shells for his rifle.

Audie Murphy in World War II

Audie joined the army and became a member of the Third Infantry Division. He took part in some of the bloodiest and most decisive actions of the war. Murphy saw combat in Sicily in 1943 and later took part in the ill-fated Anzio operation.

US Army troops landing at Anzio in Operation Shingle — on 22 January 1944.

In 1944 the Third Division invaded southern France in support of the more famous D-Day Normandy invasion further north. There was much hard fighting, and Audie had risen to sergeant. Later, he was to get a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant.

Murphy’s most heroic moment occurred on January 26, 1945, in the so-called Colmar Pocket of eastern France. Suddenly, Murphy’s company was confronted with a massive German attack, spearheaded by six tanks. In spite of German heavy fire, Murphy stayed at his post as an artillery spotter, calling in enemy positions over a field telephone.

The Tunisia Press

The crisis of the fight was now at hand. An American tank was hit, the crew escaping as flames leaped up from its steel frame. As the Germans surged forward, Murphy jumped on the burning wreck and manned its .50 caliber machine gun. Murphy remained on the burning tank for nearly an hour, holding the Germans at bay in spite of a bad leg wound and heavy enemy fire. When the Germans finally broke off their assault, Murphy hobbled over to his men and led a counterattack.

Murphy was one of the most decorated American soldiers of the war. He was credited with killing over 240 of the enemy while wounding and capturing many others. He was honored with 33 medals and decorations, including 5 from France and Belgium. Murphy was also awarded the Medal of Honor.

Audie Murphy, Hollywood Movie Star

Photo of Guy Mitchell (left) and Audie Murphy from the television program Whispering Smith.

After the war, famed actor Jimmy Cagney spotted Murphy on the cover of Life Magazine and asked him to come to Hollywood. Cagney tried to help his career but the first few years in Hollywood were failures. He became disillusioned and ended up sleeping in a men’s gym.

But things picked up. In 1950 he starred in Bad Boy and got a contract from Universal-International Studios. Earlier, he had written a movie about his war exploits called To Hell and Back. Universal made it into a popular movie in 1955. Murphy starred in the film, though he was reluctant to do so.

Captain Audie Murphy is sworn in to the Texas National Guard by U. S. Army Major General H. Miller Ainsworth 14 July 1950

Over the next 20 years or so Audie made 26 Hollywood films, most of them westerns. Two examples are Red Badge of Courage (1951), directed by John Huston, and The Unforgiven (1960), with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn. He was married twice, the first time to Hollywood actress Wanda Hendrix.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Murphy was a genuine hero, but fame came at a price. He suffered from insomnia and depression, had “flashbacks” of combat, and was often moody and dangerous. If you caught him during one of his “down” periods, he might confront you with a loaded gun. The actor was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It was poorly understood at the time, and often covered up. Murphy courageously went public with his mental and emotional state, urging Congress to fund more research and help for war veterans who suffer from the condition.

Audie Murphy’s Last Years

Headstone over the grave of Audie Murphy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. Photo: Tim1965
– CC BY-SA 3.0

Murphy owned a horse ranch and was a successful racehorse owner and breeder. He was a gambler, too, and won and lost several fortunes during his life. Audie wrote poetry and was a successful songwriter.

On Memorial Day, 1971 (May 28, 1971) Audie Murphy was killed at the age of 46. He was a passenger in a private plane that encountered fog and rain and crashed into a mountain. We should continue to remember Murphy not as a story of the “perfect” guy, but rather the guy who was a genuine personality and easy to like and who stepped up to the plate when called.

 

Gillibrand Calls to Disband ICE: It’s a ‘Deportation Force’

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

In Spite of what the left thinks ICE is a deportation force and not the welcome wagon for illegals.

 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) called Thursday night to disband U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Gillibrand about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) in the 14th Congressional District primary, and her controversial position to disband the law enforcement agency.

“She’s also got some positions that are even to the left of Bernie Sanders. She wants to get rid of ICE,” Cuomo said. “Now, what are you going to do with your party if you do come into a majority and you have a significant number, or at least an influence of people who have that kind of a position?”

“Well, I agree with it. I don’t think ICE today is working as intended,” Gillibrand said.

“You think you should get rid of the agency?” Cuomo asked.

“I believe that it has become a deportation force and I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues and I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out,” Gillibrand said.

She went on to argue the U.S. should replace ICE with “something that actually works.”

“So we believe that we should protect families that need our help and that is not what ICE is doing today,” Gillibrand said, “and that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it, and build something that actually works.”

ICE is a component of the Department of Homeland Security and has been criticized by many liberals – particularly under the Trump administration – for managing the deportation of those who are ordered to leave the country. Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) announced Monday he was introducing a bill to abolish the agency.

Cynthia Nixon, another New York progressive who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) in his bid for re-election, recently referred to ICE as a “terrorist organization.”

 

Defining Deviancy Down

H/T Town Hall.

Society has spiraled down to the point if it is perverse it is acceptable but anything morale  is bad.

Robert De Niro, the actor, aimed the f-bomb at President Donald Trump in remarks to a large audience at the Tony Awards. Following an appreciative applause, he repeated it and got a standing ovation. Samantha Bee, the television comedian, used the even more vulgar c-word to describe the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

Well, they’re only words, some people say.

“The problem with Robert De Niro’s using the F-word against President Tump isn’t the word itself,” writes Christine Emba in the Washington Post, “it’s the absence of underlying content.” But the obscenities are the only “underlying content.” Bee’s audience, which gave her a rousing cheer, got the message loud and clear. It loved it.

Comedian Dennis Miller told an interviewer that when he watches De Niro splattering his public with political obscenities, he turns around, looks over his shoulder and mimics the actor’s psychopathic character in the movie “Taxi Driver,” saying: “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?”

Many of us are asking that question now, extending it to the terrible things other people are doing and saying in these polarized and angry times. There’s a reach for rudeness, amplified by cellphones and everywhere else on social media.

Miller, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, may be an ironic person to critique the increasing vulgarity of the culture. But like growing numbers of the rest of us, both red and blue, he regards the vulgarity as a tragic state of affairs. Ugly words and ugly public behavior bombard the public consciousness, conspicuously in politics but in art and entertainment as well. It’s impossible to rise above the antagonistic and the disputatious, to escape the anger that begets blind hate and mindless rage. Can violence be far behind?But mindlessness requires mindfulness. Classes in mindfulness are proliferating because they teach how to focus on the intellectually important. That’s evermore difficult to do. There’re a new opera, new as in a revival of the old, entertaining audiences in the nation’s capital. It’s called “The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Goes on Strike,” reprised for reflection and entertainment, in which it succeeds in part. But in revival it succumbs to the director’s conceit to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. The opera was written in 1943 by Viktor Ullmann, a Czech Jew, when he was a prisoner at the Theresienstadt death camp, shortly before he was transferred to Auschwitz to be murdered by the Nazis. The opera has a heavy drumbeat meant to represent a brutalized environment. The director updates the central character, originally a parody of Hitler, to a dictator obsessed with his country’s borders, with jarring references to “fake news” and “You’re fired.” This reduces serious philosophical questions to social media cliches.

It’s popular in certain precincts to compare the president with Hitler and the Holocaust, and it’s what historian Jay Winik, writing in The Wall Street Journal, calls an “obscene lie.” When Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, compared immigrant detention centers to Auschwitz and tweeted the infamous photograph of the single-rail line into Auschwitz, civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz called out Hayden’s remarks as “Holocaust denial.” It was a cruel and stupid analogy to the place where more than a million Jews, including many children, were sent to “showers” of poison gas.

Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed how there’s a limit to how much bad behavior can saturate a society before it lowers standards for everybody. He called it “defining deviancy down,” saying: “when you get too much, you begin to think that it’s not really that bad. Pretty soon you become accustomed to very destructive behavior.”

That’s where we are now, with a government official asked to leave a restaurant because the owner doesn’t like her boss and a member of Congress urging her constituents to organize a mob to harass conservatives — “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station … you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Some Democrats are alarmed, not necessarily because such vigilante rhetoric is wrong but because it’s a risky political strategy with the midterm elections looming just ahead. They’re concerned that Rep. Maxine Waters is not the image of the party they want to project in the months leading to Nov. 6. “Confirmation bias” is insidiously at work, enabling Waters and her angry look-alikes to be that party image, no matter how outrageous and disabling.

Just the other day, a 21-year-old congressional intern to Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire sent an f-bomb sailing toward the president as he walked past her through the Capitol rotunda. She was suspended for only a week, and Sen. Hassan said she would keep her job. That’s what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called “defining deviancy down.”

Report: FBI Refusing to Give Congress Material That Alleges Loretta Lynch Interfered in Clinton Investigation

H/T Breitbarts Big Government.

Can Jeff Sessions as Attorney General order these files released?

Paul Sperry reports at RealClearInvestigations — the investigative reporting affiliate of trusted polling aggregator RealClearPolitics — that the FBI is refusing to allow members of Congress to review intelligence that alleges Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation:

The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified” dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

It is remarkable how this Justice Department is protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department,” said Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch, which is suing for the material.

Read the rest of the story at RealClearInvestigations.