Click the Medal of Honor to visit
Butch's CMOH Citation
Edward H. "Butch"
Butch in a squadron Photo at Punnene, Maui in July 1, 1943.
Edward "Butch" O'Hare: A natural born leader and teacher. He was a fighter pilot's Fighter
Butch at a squadron Luau at the Allen's Beach house at Wailuku,
Maui, Aug 1943
He was cool, kind and very considerate of all whom he dealt
Butch helped develop fighter tactics that were effective against the enemy all through the war with
various types of aircraft.
Even though Butch lost his life while involved in defending the Carrier Force against an enemy night
torpedo attack, his teachings continued to be effective, not only in his squadron but also throughout the U.S.
Butch was my leader, my teacher and my hero.
Butch O'Hare reminds us
of his cheerful manner
Butch O'Hare from Stars & Stripes '43 while re-forming
his new squadron
Butch O'Hare with his leading Chief, Williams
Three senior VF-6 officers are photographed with Island Luau
entertainers at Allen's Beach house near Wailuku, Maui August 1943. Left to right "Sandy" Crews, George
C. "Bull" Bullard and Butch O'Hare.
George Bullard lead a flight of VF-6 pilots, "Butch's Boys" for a Memorial flight in honor
of our beloved shipmate and skipper, "Butch" O'Hare.
A few days before Christmas,''43, the Hoogs family, on Maui, got word to George Bullard telling him
that they were planning on having "Butch's Boys" (pilots) at their place on Maui for Christmas and they
needed to know ASAP how many would be coming. I volunteered for the job, so on the 23rd of December, I took an
F6F and a message bearing the name of the pilots who would probably be flying over. It was just too much to be
able to get the non-flying personnel in on the deal in such a short time.
I was impressed with the importance of getting the message to the Hoogs as soon as I could, so when
I got to Maui, I flew directly to their place located a mile or two from the center of Wailuku, in the sugar cane
fields along the West Maui Mountain range. I made a couple real low passes over their backyard with my fighter
plane. Then after Frank and Ethel came out, and waved, I dropped the message in their backyard using a little message
drop pouch, which contained a little bag of sand in one end and a red streamer on the other. There was a sugar
cane field right back of their house so it seemed safe enough to me and I thought no more about it as I went on
over to the air field at Puunene and landed.
The next day George Bullard led a flight of 20 additional Hellcats fighter planes , piloted by "Butch's
Boys" to Maui. Soon all descended on the home of Ethel and Frank to celebrate our first big Christmas in the
This lovely home of the Hoogs was to be our home for this important holiday. Many other island folks,
whom we had become acquainted with earlier, arrived to help Ethel and to join in this special occasion.
Very little was said about "Butch" not being there but we all felt a quiet sadness while
at the same time being warmed by the kindness and love of our devoted island friend.
I recall that they managed to seat us all at two long banquet type tables which stretched through
two or more rooms of their home. Before we sat down we gave a special thanks to God and then following Frank's
lead we all raised our glasses in solemn respect as we toasted our missing leader and shipmate, our "beloved,"Butch"
The menu included roast turkey, dressing, cranberries and all the trimmings along with some special
island dishes. For desert we were served a rare treat of fresh mangos and home-made ice cream.
As the evening came, there were quite a few more island folks dropping in for some holiday cheer
which had been provided by we pilots; wishing also to place gifts under the tree for all in company.
I was especially impressed by the way the folks in the islands greeted us by placing a lay of fresh
flowers around our necks with a kiss and a warm embrace.
As the evening festivities came to a close, I recall that several of us ( Bullard, Bobby Neel, Tom
Kerr, Pick Butler and myself) who had been in the home of our host several times before, stayed in their home.
George Bullard received very special treatment as he was like a son to the Hoogs. He and his wife
Mary had been married in their home the previous year.
Other VF-6 pilots stayed in the homes of island families whom they had previously befriended, such
as the Baldwins; the Allens; the Zabriskies and others.
The next morning, we bid our gracious island hosts, "Aloha," and with George Bullard leading,
we flew our hellcats in a single formation back to Barbers Point on Oahu.
We carried with us treasured memories that will last a lifetime and a new degree of closure for our
lost leader, "Butch".
That same afternoon we resumed our training schedule. I remember fying a gunnery flight with "The
Bull", who as always, was a dedicated task-master in regard to air-to-air gunnery.
As one might expect, a few days after our return to Barbers Point, the squadron was informed that
I had been been put on report for flying my fighter plane too low over the populated area of Wailuku, Maui and
demanded to be informed of appropriate judicial reprimand by the Squadron commander.
Some time later when the squadron was about ready to embark on the new USS Intrepid (CV-11) for the up-coming "Operation Flintlock", I was informed that I would be restricted to the ship during
the next 30 days or so.
- Hersch Pahl
"For those who fought for it...
freedom has a flavor the protected will never know!"