Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Edward Henry "butch" O'Hare

  • Rank: Lieutenant (Highest Rank: Lieutenant Commander)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Fighting Squadron 3,
    U.S.S. Lexington
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 20, 1942
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: South Pacific
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 nine attacking twin-engined heavy bombers. Without hesitation, alone and unaided, he repeatedly attacked this enemy formation, at close range in the face of intense combined machine-gun and cannon fire. Despite his 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 five 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 Recipient Edward Henry "butch" O'Hare
Medal of Honor Recipient Edward Henry "butch" O'Hare
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 21, 1942
    The White House, presented by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Born: March 13, 1914, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, United States
  • Died: November 23, 1943, South Pacific Area
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl)(Wall of the Missing), remains not recovered, Honolulu, HI, United States

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