Medal of Honor Recipient

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Navy 1
Lieutenant Commander 1
13 Mar 1914 1
St. Louis, Missouri 1
26 Nov 1943 1
Gilbert Islands 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Edward Henry O'Hare 1
Also known as:
"Butch" 1
13 Mar 1914 1
St. Louis, Missouri 1
Male 1
26 Nov 1943 1
Gilbert Islands 1
Cause: Killed In Action 1
Mother: Selma O'Hare 1
Father: Edward Joseph O'Hare 1
Rita Wooster 1
06 Sep 1941 1
Phoenix, Arizona 1

World War II 1

Navy 1
Lieutenant Commander 1
Service Start Date:
03 Jun 1937 1
Service End Date:
26 Nov 1943 1
Service Number:
78672 1
Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross w/ 1 Gold Star, Purple Heart 1
Unit 1:
VF-3 1
Unit 2:
Air Group 6 1
Naval Aviator 1
Roman Catholic 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Institution: Western Military Academy 1
Place: Alton, Illinois 1
From: 1929 1
To: 1933 1
Institution: U.S. Naval Academy 1
Place: Annapolis, Maryland 1
From: 1933 1
To: 1937 1
Military Awards:
American Campaign Service Medal: 1943 1
American Defense Service Medal: 1 September 1939 - 7 December 1941 1
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal: 3 Battle Stars 1
Distinguished Flying Cross: 31 Aug 1943 1
Distinguished Flying Cross: 05 Oct 1943 1
Medal of Honor: 20 Feb 1942 1
Navy Cross: 26 Nov 1943 1
Presidential Unit Citation: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6) 1
Purple Heart: 26 Nov 1943 1
WWII Victory Medal: 7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946 1

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Medal of Honor Citation

Medal of Honor

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 February 20, 1942. Having lost the assistance of his teammates, Lieutenant [Edward H.] O'Hare interposed his fighter 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 machine gun and cannon fire. Despite this concentrated opposition, Lieutenant 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.

Navy Cross Citation

Tarawa, Gilbert Islands

Navy Cross
2 images

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare (NSN: 0-78672), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron TWO (VF-2), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), and deployed over Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, in action against enemy Japanese forces on 26 November 1943. When warnings were received of the approach of a large force of Japanese torpedo bombers, Lieutenant Commander O'Hare volunteered to lead a fighter section of aircraft from his carrier, the first time such a mission had been attempted at night, in order to intercept the attackers. He fearlessly led his three-plane group into combat against a large formation of hostile aircraft and assisted in shooting down two Japanese airplanes and dispersed the remainder. Lieutenant Commander O'Hare's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

This individual is one of 514 missing heroes from the Battle of Tarawa for which our founder conducted extensive research in an attempt to find and return home while a member of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). Our Foundation has continued these efforts. If you are a family member, please feel free to contact our charitable foundation for more information at There is absolutely no charge for our services. The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation

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