Category Archives: In Memoriam

Absent Friends…

To Lex

While it’s not exactly the design we settled on some months ago, that didn’t make the cut. Seems it was desired that all the bricks have a certain format, which makes perfect sense.

My daughter, The WSO, returned last week from Key West, survived the Hornet Ball Saturday night and finally had a chance to get out to the memorial today.

All in all, I think we honored our dear friend very nicely. I wish I could have been there for the dedication.

Next time I get out to Lemoore, I hope there is some grass growing near the memorial. I plan to bring a nickel or three…

To remember all of those fine men and women who went in harm’s way…

And didn’t make it home.


Filed under In Memoriam, Lex

Heavy Heart

I haven’t been around here much recently; time just moves quickly.  But today – time stood still and in fact, took us all backwards to March 6/7, 2012.  Pinch posted, on Facebook, the link to the final NTSB report on Our Beloved Lex’s accident.

Go here.

No real surprises.  Just the final words that mark the end of Lex’s life.  They are harsh words to read, to be sure.  Harsh in their finality and in the way the day conspired to rob a family of their anchor and a ragtag bunch of friends their cherished brother-in-arms and brother-in-heart.

I just wanted to be sure that those of you here, who don’t belong to Facebook, had the opportunity to read (or not) the final report.


Filed under In Memoriam, Lex

Aviator Memorial (Update #3)

Lemoore Aviator's Statue

NAS Lemoore Aviators Memorial Statue

The WSO provided this update over at Facebook. For you non-Facebook types, here’s what she had to say:

For those interested in the progress of the NAS Lemoore Aviators Memorial…The statue has been paid for and they are waiting on the completion before they ship it here. Below is a picture of the progress made so far…looking good!

As updates come in, I’ll pass them along.


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Filed under In Memoriam, Lex

Edward “Butch” O’Hare


Butch O’Hare and his F4F-3 Wildcat. Stud.

Most of you will recognize the namesake of one of Chicago’s international airports. What you probably may not know is that today in 1942, the USS Lexington came under attack by Japanese G4M “Betty” bombers while in the Japanese-held waters north of New Ireland.


A flight of 9 Bettys approached the Lexington from an undefended side, and Lt. Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare and his wingman were the only aircraft available to intercept the formation. At 1700 hours, O’Hare arrived over the 9 incoming bombers and attacks. During the engagement his wingman’s (LT. Marion Dufilho) guns failed, so O’Hare had to fight on alone. He is credited with shooting down five Japanese bombers and damaging a sixth and probably saving lives aboard the Lexington (although she was scuttled at the Battle of Coral Sea in May that year).

VF-3: Front row, second from right: Lt. Edward Butch O'Hare.

VF-3: Front row, second from right: Lt. Edward Butch O’Hare.

As a result of this engagement O’Hare was promoted to LtCDR and received a Medal Of Honor. The citation reads as follows:


Medal of Honor – Navy
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
Born: 13 March 1914, St. Louis, Mo.
Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo.
Other Navy awards: Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 gold star.

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, 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.


Butch O’Hare receives the Medal Of Honor from FDR (with wife Rita at his side)

There’s a bit of fable involved in the tale of Butch’s entry into the US Navy. It makes for a great story but it’s just a fable indeed. Butch’s dad was Edward “Easy Eddie” O’Hare who was a tax accountant for the infamous Al Capone. O’Hare played a key role in Capone’s prosecution for tax evasion and as a result of working with the Feds, the rumor was that Butch received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in return. A great story indeed.

Easy Eddie was later assassinated (from Wikipedia):

O’Hare was shot and killed on Wednesday, November 8, 1939, while driving in his car. He was 46. That afternoon he reportedly left his office at Sportsman’s Park in Cicero with a cleaned and oiled Spanish-made .32-caliber semi-automatic pistol, something unusual for him. O’Hare got into his black 1939 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, and drove away from the track. As he approached the intersection of Ogden and Rockwell, a dark sedan rolled up beside him and two shotgun-wielding henchmen opened up on him with a volley of big-gameslugs. Edward Joseph O’Hare was killed instantly. As his Lincoln crashed into a post at the side of the roadway, the killers continued east on Ogden, where they soon became lost in other traffic.

Butch himself was later killed-in-action on 26 November 1943 while leading the first-ever night time fighter attack to be launched from a carrier.

If your ever at O’Hare airport and in terminal 2 go see the F4F-3 recovered from Lake Michigan:











In the finest tradition of the Naval service, Chicago’s very own.


Filed under Airplanes, Flying, Heroes Among Us, History, In Memoriam, Leadership, Naval Aviation, Navy


From a fellow Lexican comes this from his blog RUMBEAR CHRONICLES. Thank you, Charles Mellor for this.

That is an awesome picture BTW!

1 Comment

by | September 28, 2013 · 11:54 pm

The National Air B747 Crash at Bagram

Whilst beboppin’ around chasing a video thread, there appeared a thumbnail for something that drew me in. One video led to another video, the second done in what I would call a thoughtful and reasoned out interview with an expert.
The subject? The much discussed contract 747 mishap out of Bagram Airbase. The video is a somber watch for anyone, but the discussion that follows I thought was conducted as tastefully and professionally as might be managed under the circumstances. To Ms. Erin Burnett of CNN, I say “Well done”
For my part, I don’t see a load shift being the cause of a stall whose beginning is this subtle; namely, left wing stall with no abrupt pitch up. My call? Not managing/monitoring airspeed and power on a steeper than usual takeoff.

RIP to seven crew members.
National Air B747 Crash at Bagram AB

With that, hizzoner has a midnite wakeup call for a road trip to Victorville and beyond. See y’all on the morrow.


Filed under Airplanes, In Memoriam

Memorial Day 2013




Filed under In Memoriam