As a Chicagoan, it's not my preferable airport, but it bears a name that many don't know... Butch O'Hare.
In 1942, LtCdr Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare became the first naval ace of WWII when he destroyed 8 bombers headed for his carrier, USS Lexington, in the Pacific. He was the first sailor to receive the Medal of Honor during WWII. The MoH citation reads in part:
"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."
On the night of November 26, 1943, O'Hare's fighter group fought with a group of Japanese torpedo bombers. Reports after the fight indicated that O'Hare's F6F Hellcat was shot down. That was the last anyone ever saw of Butch O'Hare or his fighter (never recovered).
On September 19, 1949, Chicago's Orchard depot airfield was renamed in honor of LtCdr O'Hare.
Could Mayor Rahm Emanuel be thinking about renaming Chicago’s airports, perhaps after President Barack Obama?
Emanuel brought up the airports' names during a candidate forum Wednesday night atChicago State University
Mayor Emanuel quickly backtracked on talking about renaming O'Hare or Midway (named in honor of the WWII naval battle).
“Look, I made a mistake, and I was quick to change it. I’m not perfect. When I make a mistake, I hear it and change it,” Emanuel said. “And I don’t have a problem saying that. But I won’t make an apology for the fact I think President Obama is a great president. I wanted to honor him. I wanted to be the city to have the first high school named after him. In my rush to do it, I clearly offended people, so I backed off of it. I will never back off of my love and affection for a great president. But I made a mistake.”
You know what the real mistake is, Mr Mayor? That you and your friends in the administration don't understand why the names O'Hare or Midway should never be changed. You worry more about the sacrifices made to get votes than the sacrifices made to keep to the world safe.
Mayor Daley should kick your ass.