Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare (March 13, 1914 – November 26, 1943) was an American naval aviator of the United States Navy, who on February 20, 1942, became the Navy's first flying ace when he single-handedly attacked a formation of nine heavy bombers approaching his aircraft carrier.
Even though he had a limited amount of ammunition, he managed to shoot down five enemy bombers.
On April 21, 1942, he became the first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II.O'Hare's final action took place on the night of November 26, 1943, while he was leading the U.S.
Navy's first-ever nighttime fighter attack launched from an aircraft carrier.
During this encounter with a group of Japanese torpedo bombers, O'Hare's Grumman F6F Hellcat was shot down; his aircraft was never found.
In 1945, the U.S.
Navy destroyer USS O'Hare (DD-889) was named in his honor.
A few years later, Colonel Robert R.
McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, suggested that the name of Chicago's Orchard Depot Airport be changed as a tribute to Butch O'Hare.
On September 19, 1949, the Chicago, Illinois airport was renamed O'Hare International Airport to honor O'Hare's bravery.
The airport displays a Grumman F4F-3 museum aircraft replicating the one flown by Butch O'Hare during his Medal of Honor flight.
The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat on display was recovered virtually intact from the bottom of Lake Michigan, where it sank after a training accident in 1943 when it went off the training aircraft carrier USS Wolverine (IX-64).
In 2001, the Air Classics Museum remodeled the aircraft to replicate the F4F-3 Wildcat that O'Hare flew on his Medal of Honor flight.
The restored Wildcat is exhibited in the west end of Terminal 2 behind the security checkpoint to honor O'Hare International Airport's namesake.