For my latest
To review Bill's training
have often wondered how many consecutive educational bulletins will
subscribers receive before they say, "ENOUGH ALREADY!"
said, earlier this year I started to introduce a little
non-technical story telling into the bulletin lineup. So, if you've
been looking for that break from your day-to day stress, you'll want
to be sure to read this week's "Take-a-Break" bulletin.
a nice day, keep the faith, and stay connected.
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
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 headedback to the fleet.
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.
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.
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 rendering them unfit to fly. He was desperate to do
anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.
the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back
to the carrier.
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.
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.
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.
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 prostitution to murder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
do these two stories have to do with one another?
O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.
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