Mar 6, 2020
This week on The Resistance Library, Sam and Molly discuss Butch O’Hare, America’s first flying ace and the first Naval recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Edward “Butch” O’Hare was the Navy’s first flying ace, a World War II hero whose name would have been commonly known at the time, but has sadly faded out of view for most Americans. With severely limited ammunition supplies, he was able to shoot down five Japanese bombers, which is how he became the first Naval recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Second World War.
But this was not his only brush with world history: His father, known around Chicago as “Easy Eddie,” was Al Capone’s high-powered attorney. Easy Eddie was so prized by Capone that he wasn’t just paid a handsome salary – he was also kept in the lap of luxury in a house the size of an entire Chicago city block filled with servants.
Easy Eddie lavished the young Butch with gifts. But he was also concerned with his education and moral upbringing – the latter of which changed Easy Eddie’s entire life, when he ultimately decided to testify against Capone in open court. Needless to say, this didn’t end well for Eddie Senior: His life ended in a hail of bullets on the streets of Chicago.
This was an important moment in the life of Butch. It was here that he learned the true meaning of courage from his father. And he would carry this with him into the air when he fought the Japanese during World War II.
He also picked up his love of aviation from his father. The elder O’Hare caught the bug toward the end of his career as Capone’s attorney. He once hitched a ride with Charles Lindbergh, and took the yoke on commercial flights whenever the opportunity presented itself. Sometimes he would let young Butch take the controls.
If you want to know more, check out Sam’s article on Ammo.com’s Resistance Library.
For $20 off your $200 purchase, go to https://ammo.com/podcast (a special deal for our listeners).