'Butch' O'Hare's Medal Of Honor Mission, Which Airframe Did He Fly?

HarvHR

Recruit
6
4
Oct 30, 2020
Afternoon.

I'm trying to do some research on the F4F-3 'Butch' flew on his Medal of Honor mission, February 20th 1942.

I've seen some report it to be F-13, some report it to be F-15. Whilst Navy pilots would have just flown what was available on the deck, I would like to know if anyone else has any better sources regarding this question as most of what I've found is second-hand sources at best or if anyone could point me in the direction of a source that may hold the answer.

Candidates so far:

F4F-3 F-13, photos taken in April 1942 alongside Thach in 'F-1', possible this aircraft was used in the mission hence why it appears.

F4F-3 F-15, the seemingly popular aircraft online and in artwork, as well as in O'Hare Airport terminal and a few other museums. That being said I haven't found a definite source for this being the aircraft. Could it be the case of museums simply copying other museums, much in the same way that British tanks in North Africa regularly pop up with a blue/tan/brown camo purely because a museum made a mistake and others copied it?

Candidates ruled out:

F4F-3 F-3, used purely for propaganda photos.

Apologies if this thread has been made previously, I haven't been able to find it.
 

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le_steph40

Master Sergeant
infos here or here and
"Le Lexington est revenu après le raid de Nouvelle-Guinée à Pearl Harbor pour des réparations et pour faire retirer ses [22]​ canons obsolètes de 8 pouces, transférant certains de ses avions de combat F4F-3 à l' USS Yorktown (CV-5), y compris BuNo 4031 "Blanc F-15 "qu'O'Hare avait piloté lors de sa fameuse mission. Le pilote assigné à piloter cet avion à Yorktown a été averti par O'Hare juste avant le décollage de prendre bien soin de son avion. Quelques instants plus tard, le chasseur a décollé sans succès, roulant sur le pont et dans l'eau; le pilote a été récupéré, mais le «White F-15» a été perdu." from here
 
Last edited:

FLYBOYJ

"THE GREAT GAZOO"
Staff
Mod
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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
infos here or here and
"Le Lexington est revenu après le raid de Nouvelle-Guinée à Pearl Harbor pour des réparations et pour faire retirer ses [22]​ canons obsolètes de 8 pouces, transférant certains de ses avions de combat F4F-3 à l' USS Yorktown (CV-5), y compris BuNo 4031 "Blanc F-15 "qu'O'Hare avait piloté lors de sa fameuse mission. Le pilote assigné à piloter cet avion à Yorktown a été averti par O'Hare juste avant le décollage de prendre bien soin de son avion. Quelques instants plus tard, le chasseur a décollé sans succès, roulant sur le pont et dans l'eau; le pilote a été récupéré, mais le «White F-15» a été perdu." from here
Translated the article, good stuff - one note; In the US Navy, you don't have "Crew Chiefs," the individual responsible for the maintenance of their assigned aircraft are known as "Plane Captains."
 

soulezoo

Senior Airman
548
389
Aug 20, 2014
Left coast
Translated the article, good stuff - one note; In the US Navy, you don't have "Crew Chiefs," the individual responsible for the maintenance of their assigned aircraft are known as "Plane Captains."
In the USAF, where the checklists are concerned, we're APG... Air Plane General... or "All Purpose Gorilla". The latter more often used and more often correct.
 

F4F2F12021

Recruit
6
4
Jun 23, 2022
Translated the article, good stuff - one note; In the US Navy, you don't have "Crew Chiefs," the individual responsible for the maintenance of their assigned aircraft are known as "Plane Captains."
I have some information that contradicts that article. 4031 didn't crash on take off. Instead it was transferred to VF-2 and flew from Lexington at Coral Sea and landed on the Yorktown. Later it served in VMF-214 where it crashed Sept 3 1942 (See page from VMF-214 War Diary). Later repaired. Sadly after being used in a training school it was scrapped in the 1950s. Proof of this included here, this is the aircraft history card to 4031.
 

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F4F2F12021

Recruit
6
4
Jun 23, 2022
infos here or here and
"Le Lexington est revenu après le raid de Nouvelle-Guinée à Pearl Harbor pour des réparations et pour faire retirer ses [22]​ canons obsolètes de 8 pouces, transférant certains de ses avions de combat F4F-3 à l' USS Yorktown (CV-5), y compris BuNo 4031 "Blanc F-15 "qu'O'Hare avait piloté lors de sa fameuse mission. Le pilote assigné à piloter cet avion à Yorktown a été averti par O'Hare juste avant le décollage de prendre bien soin de son avion. Quelques instants plus tard, le chasseur a décollé sans succès, roulant sur le pont et dans l'eau; le pilote a été récupéré, mais le «White F-15» a été perdu." from here
I have some information that contradicts that article. 4031 didn't crash on take off. Instead it was transferred to VF-2 and flew from Lexington at Coral Sea and landed on the Yorktown. Later it served in VMF-214 where it crashed Sept 3 1942 (See page from VMF-214 War Diary). Later repaired. Sadly after being used in a training school it was scrapped in the 1950s. Proof of this included here, this is the aircraft history card to 4031.
 

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