The USS Lexington is Saved

Today in History, February 20, 1942:

Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare saves his ship. The USS Lexington was initiating a raid on Rabaul, a Japanese stronghold. However the Task Force was spotted, and many Japanese aircraft were sent to destroy the valuable aircraft carrier.

Lt. O’Hare was part of the “CAP”, or Combat Air Patrol for the Lexington (CV-2).

O’Hare singe-handedly shot down five of the attacking “Betty” bombers, effectively saving his ship, one of the few aircraft carriers the United States had available at the time.

This also made him the US Navy’s first ace of WWII.

About a year later, O’Hare, ever the hero, would be lost in unknown circumstances in one of the first night time fighter operations.

O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named for Butch.

What many people don’t know is that this American hero, who gave the “last full measure of devotion” for his country, was the son of a gangster. His father had been Al Capone’s lawyer.

The senior O’Hare (Easy Eddie), according to the story, had exchanged his testimony against Capone for a chance for his son to enter the Naval Academy. He paid with his life, gunned down by Capone’s thugs. As a result, thousands of American sailors aboard the Lexington were saved due to Butch’s heroism.

Nitti Didn’t Die That Hollywood Death…

Today in History, March 19: 1943:

Most of us are familiar with the scene from the “Untouchables” in which Elliott Ness pushes the incredibly evil Frank Nitti from the roof of the courthouse to his death, because Nitti is cajoling Ness about the death of his friend.

The truth?

Nitti took over the Chicago rackets after Al Capone went to prison. He tried to extort California movie studios, and, failing, faced prison time.

He had also married the widow of Edward J. O’Hare, Capone’s attorney. Facing prison, he decided instead to get drunk (.23 bac), to walk to a nearby railroad center, and commit suicide.

He tried to stand in front of a train, but his courage failed. He then shot himself in the head with a .32 caliber pistol…missed the first two times…and finally on the third time, succeeded.

O’Hare had turned state’s witness to save his family…his son Butch would become a WWII hero, and O’Hare International Airport would be named for him.

“Butch” O’Hare Saved His Ship and Her Crew…Did “Easy Eddie” Help?

Today in History, February 20, 1942:

Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare saves his ship. The USS Lexington was initiating a raid on Rabaul, a Japanese stronghold. However the Task Force was spotted, and many Japanese aircraft were sent to destroy the valuable aircraft carrier.

Lt. O’Hare was part of the “CAP”, or Combat Air Patrol for the Lexington (CV-2).

O’Hare singe-handedly shot down five of the attacking “Betty” bombers, effectively saving his ship, one of the few aircraft carriers the United States had available at the time.

This also made him the US Navy’s first ace of WWII.

About a year later, O’Hare, ever the hero, would be lost in unknown circumstances in one of the first night time fighter operations.

O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named for Butch.

What many people don’t know is that this American hero, who gave the “last full measure of devotion” for his country, was the son of a gangster. His father had been Al Capone’s lawyer.

The senior O’Hare (Easy Eddie), according to the story, had exchanged his testimony against Capone for a chance for his son to enter the Naval Academy. He paid with his life, gunned down by Capone’s thugs. As a result, thousands of American sailors aboard the Lexington were saved due to Butch’s heroism.

An American Hero

Today in History, February 20: 1942 – Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare saves his ship. The USS Lexington was initiating a raid on Rabaul, a Japanese stronghold. However the Task Force was spotted, and many Japanese aircraft were sent to destroy the valuable aircraft carrier. Lt. O’Hare was part of the “CAP”, or Combat Air Patrol for the Lexington (CV-2).

O’Hare singe-handedly shot down five of the attacking “Betty” bombers, effectively saving his ship, one of the few aircraft carriers the United States had available at the time. This also made him the US Navy’s first ace of WWII. About a year later, O’Hare, ever the hero, would be lost in unknown circumstances in one of the first night time fighter operations. O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named for Butch. What many people don’t know is that this American hero, who gave the “last full measure of devotion” for his country, was the son of a gangster. His father had been Al Capone’s lawyer. The senior O’Hare (Fast Eddie), according to the story, had exchanged his testimony against Capone for a chance for his son to enter the Naval Academy. He paid with his life, gunned down by Capone’s thugs. As a result, thousands of American sailors aboard the Lexington were saved due to Butch’s heroism.