TWO AMAZING STORIES from Only 4 You Kids
Story Number One:
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander, Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter
pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge
and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to
complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.
Reluctantly he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold. A squadron of
Japanese bombers was speeding its way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on
a sortie and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in
time. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.
There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert the bombers. Laying aside all thoughts of personal
safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in,
attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.
Butch weaved in and out of the now broken formation, firing at as many planes as possible, until all his
ammunition was spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to at least
clip off a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and thereby rendering them unfit to
fly. He was desperate to do anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and
his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event
surrounding his return. The film from the camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of
Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had destroyed five enemy bombers.
That was on February 20, 1942, and for that action he became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II and the first
Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later he was killed in aerial combat at the age
of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of his heroic action to die. And today, O'Hare Airport in
Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So the next time you're in O'Hare, visit his memorial with his statue and Medal of Honor. It is located between Terminal 1 and 2.
Story Number Two:
Some years earlier there was a man in Chicago called Easy Eddie. At that time, Al Capone virtually owned
the city. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. His exploits were anything but praiseworthy. He was
notorious for enmeshing the city of Chicago in everything from bootlegged booze and human trafficking to murder.
Easy Eddie was Capone's lawyer, and he was a very good one! In fact, his skill at legal maneuvering kept
Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was
the money big; Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in
mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an
entire Chicago city block. Yes, Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration
to the atrocities that went on around him.
Eddy did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddy saw to it that his little boy had
the best of everything; clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.
And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.
Eddie wanted his son to rise above his own sordid life and be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his
wealth and influence, there were two things Eddie couldn't give the boy - two things he had sacrificed
to the Capone mob. He could not pass on to his beloved son a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie made a difficult choice. He decided that giving his boy a good name was far more important
than all the riches he could lavish on him. He had to rectify all the wrong he had done. He would go to the
authorities and tell the truth about "Scar-face" Al Capone. That meant he would have to testify against
The Mob, and he knew the cost would be great. But more than anything, he wanted to set an example for his son,
restore his own integrity, and leave a good name to the boy. So he testified - and within the year, Easy
Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street. He had given his son the greatest gift
he had to offer at the greatest price that could be paid.
What do these two stories have to do with one another?
Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son !
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