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eaglepilot
08-05-2015, 08:32 PM
45 upgrades, not 30.

675

Illinipilot830
08-05-2015, 10:13 PM
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/05/a09085b4771a9bbf9cc32a31e11aab92.jpg

Latest and greatest. RF 424 BID1

eaglepilot
08-05-2015, 10:26 PM
We'll still have an 8 year upgrade but every bit helps.

styx
08-05-2015, 10:29 PM
What's with the 10 MIA? Looks like a dirty teaser.

ardvark
08-06-2015, 05:09 AM
mia-aircraft to be determined at a later date

sully7777
08-06-2015, 06:02 AM
The rf424 is not official until it comes out, this one looks incomplete, probably waiting for final approvals. MIA - Perhaps the beginnings of a satellite base? Or having some E175 guys there early on to cover RAH inability to get the job done?

ardvark
08-06-2015, 06:43 AM
so mia is opening up again?
my info is (could be wrong also) satellite MIA e145, DFW satellite crj, go figure.

787captain
08-06-2015, 12:22 PM
Now it shows 60 upgrades but i think if that was true the company would have said so I'm planning on 30 tops that's it

HotSauce
08-06-2015, 06:44 PM
Now it shows 60 upgrades but i think if that was true the company would have said so I'm planning on 30 tops that's it

It's not official until its official.

styx
08-06-2015, 06:59 PM
It's not official until your first captain paycheck hits the bank. ;)

HotSauce
08-06-2015, 07:10 PM
It's not official until your first captain paycheck hits the bank. ;)

You know what I was alluding to.

styx
08-06-2015, 08:37 PM
I do... All in good fun.

Jdflyer
08-07-2015, 01:14 PM
It's Official:

<30 ORD CA CRJ <31 AUG 16>
<15 ORD CA EMJ <31 AUG 16>
<15 ORD FO EMJ <31 AUG 16>

Royer
08-07-2015, 02:23 PM
So if you do an RF 424 you get this:

RF 424 BID1
RF 424 BID1
TO: ALL PILOTS 1 OF 2
A VACANCY/DISPLACEMENT BID IS OPEN EFF <07 AUG 2015
*VACANCIES* *ENTER TRAINING NO LATER THAN*
<100 DFW CA E75 <31 DEC 16
<100 DFW FO E75 <31 DEC 16
<15 ORD FO CRJ <31 DEC 16
<10 DFW <31 DEC 16
CONT IN RF

So which is it?

Jersdawg
08-07-2015, 02:29 PM
That's the company ****ing with us is what it is

RIGHTWINGMAN
08-07-2015, 02:36 PM
That might be what follows... one can only hopes

avi8or
08-07-2015, 03:14 PM
Nah, company is trolling.

EGF
08-07-2015, 04:06 PM
All a game. Wilson new it would be 45 upgrades. Sounds better when it. comes out of nowhere. Wow look what we did. Hopefully we can make this more the norm.

Eagle.Pilot1
08-07-2015, 06:11 PM
So if you do an RF 424 you get this:

RF 424 BID1
RF 424 BID1
TO: ALL PILOTS 1 OF 2
A VACANCY/DISPLACEMENT BID IS OPEN EFF <07 AUG 2015
*VACANCIES* *ENTER TRAINING NO LATER THAN*
<100 DFW CA E75 <31 DEC 16
<100 DFW FO E75 <31 DEC 16
<15 ORD FO CRJ <31 DEC 16
<10 DFW <31 DEC 16
CONT IN RF

So which is it?

It's at WAG anyway. A lot can happen over a year from now. We'll have a new President elect by then too.

What Wilson giveth, Wilson can taketh away if thy union does not blow righteously.

NoOtPilot
08-07-2015, 06:33 PM
it's at wag anyway. A lot can happen over a year from now. We'll have a new president elect by then too.

What wilson giveth, wilson can taketh away if thy union does not blow righteously.

now they will say anything to slowdown attrition.
Be carefull...

Airfoil
08-09-2015, 02:55 PM
Any guess on how junior this one will go? Chime away!

Cujo665
08-09-2015, 03:42 PM
All a game. Wilson new it would be 45 upgrades. Sounds better when it. comes out of nowhere. Wow look what we did. Hopefully we can make this more the norm.

200 planned for next year

sully7777
08-09-2015, 03:50 PM
More if the hiring picks up
rah guys are bailing a sinking ship
sound familiar?

ardvark
08-09-2015, 03:54 PM
Now all they have to do is open mia and ny again.

EGF
08-09-2015, 05:11 PM
Don't forget LA and Boston.

EGF
08-09-2015, 05:12 PM
Only 200 upgrade next year? Planning on losing 360 Capt min.

schmuck
08-09-2015, 08:02 PM
Only 200 upgrade next year? Planning on losing 360 Capt min.

Ric Wilson has stated that they anticipate to only flow 175 next year. Throw in some retirements and other variables I doubt we will come anywhere close to losing 360 captains. Everyone is so blinded by the withholding going to 30 per month that they forget AA has to hire 60 per month to actually flow 30 from Envoy.

Jersdawg
08-09-2015, 08:15 PM
Ric Wilson has stated that they anticipate to only flow 175 next year. Throw in some retirements and other variables I doubt we will come anywhere close to losing 360 captains. Everyone is so blinded by the withholding going to 30 per month that they forget AA has to hire 60 per month to actually flow 30 from Envoy.

New hiring projections are 500 next year, so 250 will be the min we lose I believe. It's not 360, but better than 175. We shall see on December 31, 2016 I suppose!

sully7777
08-10-2015, 09:59 AM
If we still give them 70% of the classes it will be closer to 360. And probably will see things go junior due to the seat locks here.

styx
08-10-2015, 01:33 PM
RF 424 BID1/2 no longer valid.... What's the new code?

Cujo665
08-10-2015, 02:10 PM
Ric Wilson has stated that they anticipate to only flow 175 next year. Throw in some retirements and other variables I doubt we will come anywhere close to losing 360 captains. Everyone is so blinded by the withholding going to 30 per month that they forget AA has to hire 60 per month to actually flow 30 from Envoy.

That was based on only hiring to replace retirements.
AA has since stated they plan to hire 500 next year
250 would be 50% and is about 80 more than originally projected.
This could influence their earlier 200 upgrade estimate to require more.

Cujo665
08-10-2015, 02:13 PM
RF 424 BID1/2 no longer valid.... What's the new code?

My guess will be:

MS Word and a PDF email on your AA.com account to force/influence people to use it.

Centurion
08-10-2015, 07:25 PM
Any new info about fixing or replacing Sec. 12? What's the time line on this?

Cujo665
08-10-2015, 08:49 PM
Any new info about fixing or replacing Sec. 12? What's the time line on this?

It's on the short list. I wanted a fix - even if temporary - to the RSV rules mess before negotiating anything else.
I've been out voted.

ardvark
08-10-2015, 08:51 PM
I've been out voted.

I know that feeling well.

Flugschlafen
08-11-2015, 12:26 PM
What is being discussed now instead of sec. 12?

Centurion
08-11-2015, 12:40 PM
It's on the short list. I wanted a fix - even if temporary - to the RSV rules mess before negotiating anything else.
I've been out voted.

Nice to know the union has our back. I would love to know who voted against fixing the contract, even if temporarily. This needs to be addressed immediately. Half the group is on reserve and the rules are a living hell. But we don't matter, got it.

schmuck
08-11-2015, 12:47 PM
Everyone is just assuming that because we are in negotiations over Section 12 that the negotiations will actually lead to something good for the pilot group. I'm not so convinced. It's great that we're negotiating it but I don't know what to expect to get out of it, if anything. I have absolutely zero faith in our current management to do the right thing. They won't even bother to give us back the CDO's to make our schedules better. Which is beyond ridiculous by the way.

787captain
08-12-2015, 09:37 AM
I hear a AA cadet program are in the works and next bid to come out in September. Anyone else heard of that?

ardvark
08-12-2015, 11:01 AM
Is the cadet program in lieu of elementary school? humor

Flugschlafen
08-12-2015, 01:30 PM
Cadet? They can cadet right through the regionals like the rest of us.

bravobridge
08-12-2015, 06:29 PM
I hear a AA cadet program are in the works and next bid to come out in September. Anyone else heard of that?
This is a great bizarre rumor. What the heck is the alleged rumor based on?

Anshu
08-13-2015, 02:57 AM
This is a great bizarre rumor. What the heck is the alleged rumor based on?

I'm not sure what a cadet program f

Anshu
08-13-2015, 02:58 AM
This is a great bizarre rumor. What the heck is the alleged rumor based on?

I'm not sure what a cadet program for AA would mean to ENY. Don't we all have guaranteed jobs there anyway?

787captain
08-13-2015, 04:45 AM
It would be for college freshmen. Would have to come to one of the wholly owned for flow oportunity.
In Obap news from one of my friends. aA to hire around 500 through next year. Around a 100 off the street and the rest flow and recal.

HotSauce
08-13-2015, 06:52 AM
I'm not sure what a cadet program for AA would mean to ENY. Don't we all have guaranteed jobs there anyway?

When did you get your seniority number?

Cujo665
08-25-2015, 02:51 PM
Initial & Unofficial reports are:

37 Net upgrades
8 DCE to OCE with no backfill
Most Junior CA 10-2007

EGF
08-25-2015, 04:39 PM
Was a dinner at the training hotel for new Capt. All the big wigs were there. Chief pilots in uniforms. Was very elegant. Even Pedro showed. Think it was the pre rape dinner, after they go on RSV and get bent over by Wilson. Even on death row you get one last meal.

Highflyer1980
08-25-2015, 05:05 PM
Lucky. I didn't even get a meal.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

AirAcesofDFW
08-25-2015, 05:16 PM
Damn isn't that the truth

AirAcesofDFW
08-25-2015, 05:16 PM
Was a dinner at the training hotel for new Capt. All the big wigs were there. Chief pilots in uniforms. Was very elegant. Even Pedro showed. Think it was the pre rape dinner, after they go on RSV and get bent over by Wilson. Even on death row you get one last meal.


damn isn't that the truth.

AirAcesofDFW
08-25-2015, 05:18 PM
Initial & Unofficial reports are:

37 Net upgrades
8 DCE to OCE with no backfill
Most Junior CA 10-2007

could you let me know what I got. Just pm me. Would like to know since I know I got it

Cujo665
08-25-2015, 05:58 PM
could you let me know what I got. Just pm me. Would like to know since I know I got it

OCE

Congrats

eaglepilot
08-25-2015, 07:14 PM
Initial & Unofficial reports are:

37 Net upgrades
8 DCE to OCE with no backfill
Most Junior CA 10-2007

Still at 8 year upgrades. Still longest in the regionals besides ExpressJet.

HotSauce
08-25-2015, 07:22 PM
Still at 8 year upgrades. Still longest in the regionals besides ExpressJet.

I wonder what it would drop to with the 200+ plus upgrades that have the potential to happen next year?

schmuck
08-25-2015, 07:34 PM
I wonder what it would drop to with the 200+ plus upgrades that have the potential to happen next year?

Just by crunching some quick numbers the 200th upgrade next year would be a summer 2010 hire assuming nobody else left for greener pastures.

HotSauce
08-25-2015, 07:35 PM
Just by crunching some quick numbers the 200th upgrade next year would be a summer 2010 hire assuming nobody else left for greener pastures.

Thanks. I'm on mobile and I didn't have the ability to check until tomorrow.

SlowHand
08-26-2015, 06:01 AM
Congrats AirAces, need to update your callsign. Thread drift .... One trick pony ... "GO NAVY!".



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73
Butch O'Hare
Butch O'Hare, Wildcat pilot, Navy ace, Medal of Honor recipient

color photo of Butch O'Hare
color photo of Butch O'Hare beside F4F Wildcat

O'Hare in cockpit of Wildcat
O'Hare in cockpit of Wildcat

John Thach, O'Hare's mentor
Lt. Cdr. John "Jimmy" Thach, O'Hare's mentor, in flight gear

O'Hare and Thach 1942
O'Hare and Thach 1942

Avenger in profile

TBF Avenger

Lt. Cdr. Edward "Butch" O'Hare

First U.S. Navy Ace, Medal of Honor Recipient

By Stephen Sherman, June, 1999. Updated July 2, 2011.

Edward H. O'Hare was born on March 13, 1914 in St. Louis, the son of "E.J." O'Hare, a wealthy businessman and attorney. His parents sent him to Western Military Academy (WMA) at age 13; after his arrival he pursued an interest in marksmanship, becoming president of the rifle club. In 1932, he graduated from WMA, and in 1933 went on to the US Naval Academy. Many of his classmates from both schools died in WWII.



Upon his graduation from Annapolis he received choice duty on the USS New Mexico (BB-40). While he was interested in aviation, all new U.S. Navy officers had to spend two years in surface ships, before specializing in aviation or submarines. Thus in 1939 he started flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, learning the basics on N3N-1 and Stearman NS-1 biplane trainers.

In November, his father was gunned down by Al Capone's gunmen, most likely because he had given the government information useful in its prosecution of Capone. The gangland-style murder made big headlines, and the newspapers printed numerous speculations on the circumstances of the murder. Many of these were less than flattering and implied that E.J. was involved with the mob. (Ewing & Lundstrom's excellent biography, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare, covers these events in great detail.) Arriving at Pensacola after the funeral, young O'Hare moved up to flying more advanced biplanes like the Vought O3U, the Corsair SU, and the Vought SBU-1 scout bomber (top speed 205 mph). In early 1940, he completed the required flying in patrol planes and advanced land planes.

Pre-War Carrier Flights

When he finished his naval aviation training in May, he was assigned to VF-3, the USS Saratoga's Fighting Squadron. The CO was Warren Harvey; the great John "Jimmy" Thach was XO at this time, later succeeding Harvey as CO. VF-3 was flying the Grumman F3F-1 biplane and the newer Brewster F2A-1. In July, 1940, Ed O'Hare made his first carrier landing, "just about the most exciting thing a pilot can do in peacetime." Jimmy Thach used to knock the new pilots down a notch by outflying them. He would let a rookie gain an altitude advantage, and then, while reading a newspaper or eating an apple, he would out-maneuver him and get on his tail. But when he tried this on O'Hare, he couldn't gain an advantage. Duly impressed with O'Hare's flying abilities, Thach closely mentored the promising young pilot.

In early 1941, VF-3 transferred to Enterprise, while Saratoga underwent a major refit at Bremerton. While the 'Big E' was at San Diego, Warner Brothers filmed the early Technicolor movieDive Bomber on it, featuring Errol Flynn, Ralph Bellamy, and Fred MacMurray.
July was an important time for Ed O'Hare. He met his future wife, Rita (proposing to her the first time he met her) and also made his first flight in a Wildcat. He and Rita married six weeks later, and for a honeymoon, they sailed to Hawaii in separate ships, Butch on Enterprise and Rita in a passenger liner. (I presume they stayed in the same hotel.) On December 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was at war. Butch and VF-3 were assigned to the carrier Lexington.

Saving the Lexington

On February 20, 1942, Butch O'Hare demonstrated in real life, and when it counted most, the fighting skills he had mastered. The carrier Lexington had been assigned the dangerous task of penetrating enemy-held waters north of New Ireland. From there her planes were to make a strike at Japanese shipping in the harbor at Rabaul. Unfortunately, while still 400 miles from Rabaul, the Lexington was discovered by a giant four-engine Kawanishi flying boat. Lieutenant Commander John Thach, skipper of the Lexington's Wildcat fighters, shot down the Japanese "Snooper," but not before it had radioed the carrier's position. That afternoon Commander Thach led six Wildcats into the air to intercept nine twin-engine enemy bombers. In a determined attack each of the Wildcats destroyed a bomber and damaged two more. The ship's anti-aircraft guns finished off the rest. In the meantime, nine more Japanese bombers were reported on the way. Six Wildcats, one of them piloted by Butch O'Hare, roared off the Lexington's deck to stop them. O'Hare and his wingman spotted the V formation of bombers first and dived to try to head them off. The other F4F pilots were too far away to reach most of the enemy planes before they released their bombs. As if this weren't bad enough, O'Hare's wingman discovered his guns were jammed. He was forced to turn away. Butch O'Hare stood alone between the Lexington and the bombers.

O'Hare didn't hesitate. Full throttle, he roared into the enemy formation. While tracers from the concentrated fire of the nine bombers streaked around him, he took careful aim at the starboard engine of the last plane in the V and squeezed his trigger. Slugs from the Wildcats six .50-caliber guns ripped into the Japanese bomber's wing and the engine literally jumped out of its mountings. The bomber spun crazily toward the sea as O'Hare's guns tore up another enemy plane. Then he ducked to the other side of the formation and smashed the port engine of the last Japanese plane there.

One by one he attacked the oncoming bombers until five had been downed. Commander Thach later reported that at one point he saw three of the bombers falling in flames at the same time. By now Thach and the other pilots had joined the fight. This was lucky because O'Hare was out of ammunition. The Wildcats took care of several more bombers and Lexington managed to evade the few bombs that were released. It was an amazing example of daring and shooting skill. Afterward Thach figured out that Butch O'Hare had used only sixty rounds of ammunition for each plane he destroyed. He had probably saved his ship. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the highest decoration of his country, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

With his Medal of Honor presentation, bond tours, and other commitments, Butch was out of combat from early 1942 until late 1943. On October 10, 1943, he flew with VF-6 in the air strikes against Wake Island. On this mission Alex Vraciu, the future ace, was Butch's section leader. Both O'Hare and Vraciu scored that day.



Night Fighting

In November, 1943, the Americans landed in the Gilberts (Tarawa and Makin), and the carriers were covering the landings. Equipped with the new F6F Hellcats, the US fighter pilots owned the skies, and could protect the Navy's warships from Japanese aircraft. From their bases in the Marianas, the Japanese quickly developed tactics to send torpedo-armed Bettys on night missions against the US carriers. In late November they launched these low-altitude strikes almost nightly, in a deadly attempt to get at Enterprise and other American ships.

Ed O'Hare, now Enterprise Commander - Air Group (CAG), was deeply involved in developing ad hoc counter-tactics, the first carrier-based night fighter operations of the US Navy. As the primitive radars were very bulky, they were carried on the Enterprise, on the fairly large TBF Avengers, but not on the smaller and faster Hellcats. The plan required the ship's Fighter Director Officer (FDO) to spot the incoming Bettys at a distance and send the Avengers and Hellcats toward them. The radar-equipped Avengers would then lead the Hellcats into position behind the incoming Bettys, close enough for the Hellcat pilots to spot visually the Bettys blue exhaust flames. Finally, the Hellcats would close in and shoot down the torpedo-carrying bombers. All the planes on both sides would be flying at low level. The plan was experimental, complicated, risky, and necessary - if the Bettys were to be thwarted.

The night of November 26, 1943 was the first combat test of the plan, following an earlier mission that hadn't contacted the Japs. The 'Black Panthers', as the night fighters were dubbed, included two sections of three planes. Both included two Hellcats and one Avenger. Butch led his section from his F6F, Warren Skon flew on his wing; Lt. Cdr. Phillips piloted the TBF with radarman Hazen Rand and gunner Alvin Kernan crewing the plane. (Alvin Kernan's memoirs of his experiences as an enlisted man on US Navy carrier during WWII, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, describe this night in detail, from the perspective of the man who fired the Avenger's gun seconds before Butch disappeared. (The book also happens to be the best-written narrative of WWII naval aviation that I've read in a long time. I recommend it highly.)

The night's events were complicated and confusing: the Hellcats had trouble finding the Avenger, the FDO had difficulty putting any of them on the targets, and it was all new to everyone. Phillips, in his lightly armed Avenger, found some of the attacking Japanese bombers and surprisingly, shot two of them down. Following that brief action, in the dark, with nothing to be seen but the flaming gasoline from the downed Bettys burning on the water (for over an hour?), the O'Hare and Skon got into position behind the Avenger. About that time, the Avenger identified a Betty behind the Hellcats. Kernan fired at it. Moments later, O'Hare failed to respond to the radio; he had gone down.

What happened? There are three possible explanations:
1) Friendly fire, i.e. Kernan mistakenly shot O'Hare down.
2) The Japanese bomber shot O'Hare down, in a quick, lucky burst that killed Butch instantly without heavily damaging the Hellcat.
3) When Kernan opened up, O'Hare took evasive action, the Hellcat's wingtip touched a wave and dipped into the ocean.
In a recent, thoroughly-researched biography of O'Hare, the respected author and naval historian John Lundstrom and his co-author Steve Ewing incline toward the second explanation (Butch was shot down by the Betty), in a "freak occurrence in a dangerous and complicated operation." Their specific conclusion is that "Butch fell to his old familiar adversary, a Betty. Most likely he died from, or was immediately disabled by, a lucky shot from the forward observer crouched in the Rikko's [Betty's] forward glassed-in nose...the nose gunner's 7.7mm slugs very likely penetrated Butch's cockpit from above on the port side and ahead of the F6F's armor plate." Further, the Index references to TBF gunner Alvin B. Kernan explicitly state he is "wrongly accused of shooting down Butch."

Ewing and Lundstrom trace over a half-century's confusion about what happened to O'Hare from a 1962 history of Enterprise written by U.S. Navy Commander Edwin P. Stafford. This history is based on action reports and remembrances of other crew members of Enterprise, but does not contain interviews with surviving members of O'Hare's last flight. By contrast Ewing and Lundstrom talked with three of the four persons who survived that flight, the other F6F pilot, Andy Skon, TBF radar officer Hazen Rand, and TBF gunner Alvin Kernan. Until their Fateful Rendezvous, Ewing and Lundstrom write, "Through Stafford and other accounts based largely on the action reports, Butch has wrongly become known as one of America's most famous 'friendly fire' casualties."
For their roles in protecting the carrier and in carrying out the Navy's first combat night-fighting mission, Phillips, Rand, and Kernan were awarded Navy Crosses. (Cynics ever since have concluded that the Navy, having to choose between courts-martial or medals for the Avenger crew, opted for the latter, not wanting to admit that its biggest hero had been brought down by friendly fire.)

Having read Lundstrom's book, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Edward O'Hare, and Kernan's memoirs, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, I'm inclined to accept Lundstrom's most likely explanation, and also his general conclusion. Both books are very well-written , and I recommend them to readers interested in this topic, not merely for the events of November 27, 1943. (On a note of personal coincidence, I -- me, the author of this website -- took an English course at Yale University in 1974, taught by the well-known Shakespearean scholar, Alvin B. Kernan. - SS)

Sources and Links

Barrett Tillman, Wildcat Aces of World War 2, Osprey, 1995 - includes a photo of Lexington with her useless eight-inch guns, three of Butch O'Hare, and a color plate of his Wildcat (Grumman F4F-3 BuNo 4031/white F-15)
Buy 'Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare' at Amazon.com

Steve Ewing, John B. Lundstrom (Contributor), Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare, United States Naval Inst. Press, 1997
The definitive biography of Butch O'Hare, approved by the O'Hare family. Thoroughly researched and very readable. Even the footnotes are worth reading. As described above, the book goes into great detail in its analysis of the events on the night Butch disappeared into the Pacific.

Read a review of 'Fateful Rendezvous ...' at Amazon.com

John Thach, Butch's mentor, a short bio and a series of crisp photos of Thach, from Lt. Cdr. Thach in 1942 through Admiral Thach in 1962
History of O'Hare Airport

eaglepilot
08-26-2015, 07:23 AM
Congrats AirAces, need to update your callsign. Thread drift .... One trick pony ... "GO NAVY!".



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73
Butch O'Hare
Butch O'Hare, Wildcat pilot, Navy ace, Medal of Honor recipient

color photo of Butch O'Hare
color photo of Butch O'Hare beside F4F Wildcat

O'Hare in cockpit of Wildcat
O'Hare in cockpit of Wildcat

John Thach, O'Hare's mentor
Lt. Cdr. John "Jimmy" Thach, O'Hare's mentor, in flight gear

O'Hare and Thach 1942
O'Hare and Thach 1942

Avenger in profile

TBF Avenger

Lt. Cdr. Edward "Butch" O'Hare

First U.S. Navy Ace, Medal of Honor Recipient

By Stephen Sherman, June, 1999. Updated July 2, 2011.

Edward H. O'Hare was born on March 13, 1914 in St. Louis, the son of "E.J." O'Hare, a wealthy businessman and attorney. His parents sent him to Western Military Academy (WMA) at age 13; after his arrival he pursued an interest in marksmanship, becoming president of the rifle club. In 1932, he graduated from WMA, and in 1933 went on to the US Naval Academy. Many of his classmates from both schools died in WWII.



Upon his graduation from Annapolis he received choice duty on the USS New Mexico (BB-40). While he was interested in aviation, all new U.S. Navy officers had to spend two years in surface ships, before specializing in aviation or submarines. Thus in 1939 he started flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, learning the basics on N3N-1 and Stearman NS-1 biplane trainers.

In November, his father was gunned down by Al Capone's gunmen, most likely because he had given the government information useful in its prosecution of Capone. The gangland-style murder made big headlines, and the newspapers printed numerous speculations on the circumstances of the murder. Many of these were less than flattering and implied that E.J. was involved with the mob. (Ewing & Lundstrom's excellent biography, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare, covers these events in great detail.) Arriving at Pensacola after the funeral, young O'Hare moved up to flying more advanced biplanes like the Vought O3U, the Corsair SU, and the Vought SBU-1 scout bomber (top speed 205 mph). In early 1940, he completed the required flying in patrol planes and advanced land planes.

Pre-War Carrier Flights

When he finished his naval aviation training in May, he was assigned to VF-3, the USS Saratoga's Fighting Squadron. The CO was Warren Harvey; the great John "Jimmy" Thach was XO at this time, later succeeding Harvey as CO. VF-3 was flying the Grumman F3F-1 biplane and the newer Brewster F2A-1. In July, 1940, Ed O'Hare made his first carrier landing, "just about the most exciting thing a pilot can do in peacetime." Jimmy Thach used to knock the new pilots down a notch by outflying them. He would let a rookie gain an altitude advantage, and then, while reading a newspaper or eating an apple, he would out-maneuver him and get on his tail. But when he tried this on O'Hare, he couldn't gain an advantage. Duly impressed with O'Hare's flying abilities, Thach closely mentored the promising young pilot.

In early 1941, VF-3 transferred to Enterprise, while Saratoga underwent a major refit at Bremerton. While the 'Big E' was at San Diego, Warner Brothers filmed the early Technicolor movieDive Bomber on it, featuring Errol Flynn, Ralph Bellamy, and Fred MacMurray.
July was an important time for Ed O'Hare. He met his future wife, Rita (proposing to her the first time he met her) and also made his first flight in a Wildcat. He and Rita married six weeks later, and for a honeymoon, they sailed to Hawaii in separate ships, Butch on Enterprise and Rita in a passenger liner. (I presume they stayed in the same hotel.) On December 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was at war. Butch and VF-3 were assigned to the carrier Lexington.

Saving the Lexington

On February 20, 1942, Butch O'Hare demonstrated in real life, and when it counted most, the fighting skills he had mastered. The carrier Lexington had been assigned the dangerous task of penetrating enemy-held waters north of New Ireland. From there her planes were to make a strike at Japanese shipping in the harbor at Rabaul. Unfortunately, while still 400 miles from Rabaul, the Lexington was discovered by a giant four-engine Kawanishi flying boat. Lieutenant Commander John Thach, skipper of the Lexington's Wildcat fighters, shot down the Japanese "Snooper," but not before it had radioed the carrier's position. That afternoon Commander Thach led six Wildcats into the air to intercept nine twin-engine enemy bombers. In a determined attack each of the Wildcats destroyed a bomber and damaged two more. The ship's anti-aircraft guns finished off the rest. In the meantime, nine more Japanese bombers were reported on the way. Six Wildcats, one of them piloted by Butch O'Hare, roared off the Lexington's deck to stop them. O'Hare and his wingman spotted the V formation of bombers first and dived to try to head them off. The other F4F pilots were too far away to reach most of the enemy planes before they released their bombs. As if this weren't bad enough, O'Hare's wingman discovered his guns were jammed. He was forced to turn away. Butch O'Hare stood alone between the Lexington and the bombers.

O'Hare didn't hesitate. Full throttle, he roared into the enemy formation. While tracers from the concentrated fire of the nine bombers streaked around him, he took careful aim at the starboard engine of the last plane in the V and squeezed his trigger. Slugs from the Wildcats six .50-caliber guns ripped into the Japanese bomber's wing and the engine literally jumped out of its mountings. The bomber spun crazily toward the sea as O'Hare's guns tore up another enemy plane. Then he ducked to the other side of the formation and smashed the port engine of the last Japanese plane there.

One by one he attacked the oncoming bombers until five had been downed. Commander Thach later reported that at one point he saw three of the bombers falling in flames at the same time. By now Thach and the other pilots had joined the fight. This was lucky because O'Hare was out of ammunition. The Wildcats took care of several more bombers and Lexington managed to evade the few bombs that were released. It was an amazing example of daring and shooting skill. Afterward Thach figured out that Butch O'Hare had used only sixty rounds of ammunition for each plane he destroyed. He had probably saved his ship. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the highest decoration of his country, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

With his Medal of Honor presentation, bond tours, and other commitments, Butch was out of combat from early 1942 until late 1943. On October 10, 1943, he flew with VF-6 in the air strikes against Wake Island. On this mission Alex Vraciu, the future ace, was Butch's section leader. Both O'Hare and Vraciu scored that day.



Night Fighting

In November, 1943, the Americans landed in the Gilberts (Tarawa and Makin), and the carriers were covering the landings. Equipped with the new F6F Hellcats, the US fighter pilots owned the skies, and could protect the Navy's warships from Japanese aircraft. From their bases in the Marianas, the Japanese quickly developed tactics to send torpedo-armed Bettys on night missions against the US carriers. In late November they launched these low-altitude strikes almost nightly, in a deadly attempt to get at Enterprise and other American ships.

Ed O'Hare, now Enterprise Commander - Air Group (CAG), was deeply involved in developing ad hoc counter-tactics, the first carrier-based night fighter operations of the US Navy. As the primitive radars were very bulky, they were carried on the Enterprise, on the fairly large TBF Avengers, but not on the smaller and faster Hellcats. The plan required the ship's Fighter Director Officer (FDO) to spot the incoming Bettys at a distance and send the Avengers and Hellcats toward them. The radar-equipped Avengers would then lead the Hellcats into position behind the incoming Bettys, close enough for the Hellcat pilots to spot visually the Bettys blue exhaust flames. Finally, the Hellcats would close in and shoot down the torpedo-carrying bombers. All the planes on both sides would be flying at low level. The plan was experimental, complicated, risky, and necessary - if the Bettys were to be thwarted.

The night of November 26, 1943 was the first combat test of the plan, following an earlier mission that hadn't contacted the Japs. The 'Black Panthers', as the night fighters were dubbed, included two sections of three planes. Both included two Hellcats and one Avenger. Butch led his section from his F6F, Warren Skon flew on his wing; Lt. Cdr. Phillips piloted the TBF with radarman Hazen Rand and gunner Alvin Kernan crewing the plane. (Alvin Kernan's memoirs of his experiences as an enlisted man on US Navy carrier during WWII, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, describe this night in detail, from the perspective of the man who fired the Avenger's gun seconds before Butch disappeared. (The book also happens to be the best-written narrative of WWII naval aviation that I've read in a long time. I recommend it highly.)

The night's events were complicated and confusing: the Hellcats had trouble finding the Avenger, the FDO had difficulty putting any of them on the targets, and it was all new to everyone. Phillips, in his lightly armed Avenger, found some of the attacking Japanese bombers and surprisingly, shot two of them down. Following that brief action, in the dark, with nothing to be seen but the flaming gasoline from the downed Bettys burning on the water (for over an hour?), the O'Hare and Skon got into position behind the Avenger. About that time, the Avenger identified a Betty behind the Hellcats. Kernan fired at it. Moments later, O'Hare failed to respond to the radio; he had gone down.

What happened? There are three possible explanations:
1) Friendly fire, i.e. Kernan mistakenly shot O'Hare down.
2) The Japanese bomber shot O'Hare down, in a quick, lucky burst that killed Butch instantly without heavily damaging the Hellcat.
3) When Kernan opened up, O'Hare took evasive action, the Hellcat's wingtip touched a wave and dipped into the ocean.
In a recent, thoroughly-researched biography of O'Hare, the respected author and naval historian John Lundstrom and his co-author Steve Ewing incline toward the second explanation (Butch was shot down by the Betty), in a "freak occurrence in a dangerous and complicated operation." Their specific conclusion is that "Butch fell to his old familiar adversary, a Betty. Most likely he died from, or was immediately disabled by, a lucky shot from the forward observer crouched in the Rikko's [Betty's] forward glassed-in nose...the nose gunner's 7.7mm slugs very likely penetrated Butch's cockpit from above on the port side and ahead of the F6F's armor plate." Further, the Index references to TBF gunner Alvin B. Kernan explicitly state he is "wrongly accused of shooting down Butch."

Ewing and Lundstrom trace over a half-century's confusion about what happened to O'Hare from a 1962 history of Enterprise written by U.S. Navy Commander Edwin P. Stafford. This history is based on action reports and remembrances of other crew members of Enterprise, but does not contain interviews with surviving members of O'Hare's last flight. By contrast Ewing and Lundstrom talked with three of the four persons who survived that flight, the other F6F pilot, Andy Skon, TBF radar officer Hazen Rand, and TBF gunner Alvin Kernan. Until their Fateful Rendezvous, Ewing and Lundstrom write, "Through Stafford and other accounts based largely on the action reports, Butch has wrongly become known as one of America's most famous 'friendly fire' casualties."
For their roles in protecting the carrier and in carrying out the Navy's first combat night-fighting mission, Phillips, Rand, and Kernan were awarded Navy Crosses. (Cynics ever since have concluded that the Navy, having to choose between courts-martial or medals for the Avenger crew, opted for the latter, not wanting to admit that its biggest hero had been brought down by friendly fire.)

Having read Lundstrom's book, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Edward O'Hare, and Kernan's memoirs, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, I'm inclined to accept Lundstrom's most likely explanation, and also his general conclusion. Both books are very well-written , and I recommend them to readers interested in this topic, not merely for the events of November 27, 1943. (On a note of personal coincidence, I -- me, the author of this website -- took an English course at Yale University in 1974, taught by the well-known Shakespearean scholar, Alvin B. Kernan. - SS)

Sources and Links

Barrett Tillman, Wildcat Aces of World War 2, Osprey, 1995 - includes a photo of Lexington with her useless eight-inch guns, three of Butch O'Hare, and a color plate of his Wildcat (Grumman F4F-3 BuNo 4031/white F-15)
Buy 'Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare' at Amazon.com

Steve Ewing, John B. Lundstrom (Contributor), Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare, United States Naval Inst. Press, 1997
The definitive biography of Butch O'Hare, approved by the O'Hare family. Thoroughly researched and very readable. Even the footnotes are worth reading. As described above, the book goes into great detail in its analysis of the events on the night Butch disappeared into the Pacific.

Read a review of 'Fateful Rendezvous ...' at Amazon.com

John Thach, Butch's mentor, a short bio and a series of crisp photos of Thach, from Lt. Cdr. Thach in 1942 through Admiral Thach in 1962
History of O'Hare Airport

Ok?

Cujo665
08-26-2015, 08:32 AM
I wonder what it would drop to with the 200+ plus upgrades that have the potential to happen next year?

or even more, with some sooner.....


makes ya wonder....

Flugschlafen
08-26-2015, 09:56 AM
I'm going to pistol whip the next jack wagon that uselessly full quotes another long post.

https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/p/6/005/093/21e/18f9390.jpg
Haven't you ever heard of editing? TL;DR? Some people should have their quote privileges suspended.