Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare

Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare

Article excerpt

Ewing, Steve, and John B. Lundstrom. Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1997. 408pp. $32.95

Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare is among a select handful of relatively junior naval officers to achieve lasting fame for service during the Second World War. He singlehandedly denied a wave of eight Japanese bombers a clear shot at USS Lexington in February 1942, shooting down or severely damaging six of the attackers. The country needed heroes during those dismal early days of the war, and Lieutenant (.g.) O'Hare's Medal of Honor-winning feat brought him instant national fame, rapid promotion, and well deserved squadron and carrier air group commands during the following twenty months. On the night of 26 November 1943, Butch O'Hare failed to return from a night mission, and the cause of his fate has been a matter of contention since.

Steve Ewing and John B. Lundstrom have written an extraordinarily complete, highly sympathetic, and easyreading biography of one of the Pacific war's most public heroes. Steve Ewing is senior curator at Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, and has written several books on naval topics, including American Cruisers of World War II and USS Enterpise. John B. Lundstrom is curator of American and military history at the Milwaukee Public Museum and has authored two books on naval air combat in the Pacific.

Extensively researched and well documented, including new sources from the Japanese side, the authors' work apparently leaves very little of O'Hare's life and legacy unexamined. …

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