World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. A United States Navy fighter pilot during World War II, he became the namesake of the O'Hare International Airport in Chcago, Illinois. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery on February 20, 1942. His citation reads "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." The first United States Navy ace, he was downed by a Japanese "Betty" bomber flying slightly above and behind him, in position to see his engine exhaust flames, and his body was lost at sea. In 1945 the United States Navy launched the "USS O'Hare" (DD-889), which was named in his honor.
Bio by: Don Morfe