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sovietjet
Topic Author
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!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:04 am

I need a topic about aviation that has to do with chicago or has a connection with chicago. Can you guys give me any ideas? So far i can think of the DC-10 crash but thats about it. I'm gonna need to find about 40 sources for it and an interview i need some ideas. thanks
 
cancidas
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:06 am

how about the asshole mayor daily ripping up miegs? you can add AOPA's fight to get it re-openned.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
sovietjet
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:08 am

I forgot to tell you guys it also has to not be current events and it has to have some historical significance. thanks
 
cancidas
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:09 am

oops. sorry then...


mc
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
FLAIRPORT
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:43 am

the construction of O'hare?
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F9Widebody
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:48 am

Well, a little bit historical, but ORD has a GREAT story behind its name.

http://www.acepilots.com/usn_ohare.html

Lt. Cdr. Edward "Butch" O'Hare
First U.S. Navy Ace, Medal of Honor Recipient
Wildcat Fighter Pilot, Savior of USS Lexington, First Hellcat Night-Fighter

Edward H. O'Hare was born on March 13, 1914 in St. Louis, the son of "E.J." O'Hare, a wealthy businessman and attorney. His parents sent him to Western Military Academy (WMA) at age 13, where he pursued an interest in marksmanship, becoming president of the rifle club. In 1932, he graduated from WMA, and in 1933 went on to the US Naval Academy. Many of his classmates from both schools died in WWII.
Upon his graduation from Annapolis he received choice duty on the USS New Mexico (BB-40). While he was interested in aviation, all new officers had to spend two years in surface ships, before specializing in aviation or submarines. Thus in 1939 he started flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, learning the basics on N3N-1 and Stearman NS-1 biplane trainers.

In November, his father was gunned down by Al Capone's gunmen, most likely because he had given the government information useful in its prosecution of Capone. The gangland-style murder made big headlines, and the newspapers printed numerous speculations on the circumstances of the murder. Many of these were less than flattering and implied that E.J. was involved with the mob. (Ewing & Lundstrom's excellent biography, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare, covers these events in great detail.) Returning to Pensacola after the funeral, young O'Hare moved up to flying more advanced biplanes like the Vought O3U, the Corsair SU, and the Vought SBU-1 scout bomber (top speed 205 mph). In early 1940, he completed the required flying in patrol planes and advanced land planes.

Pre-War Carrier Flying
When he finished his naval aviation training in May, he was assigned to VF-3, the USS Saratoga's Fighting Squadron. The CO was Warren Harvey; the great John "Jimmy" Thach was XO at this time, later succeeding Harvey as CO. VF-3 was flying the Grumman F3F-1 biplane and the newer Brewster F2A-1. In July, 1940, Ed O'Hare made his first carrier landing, "just about the most exciting thing a pilot can do in peacetime." Jimmy Thach used to knock the new pilots down a notch by outflying them. He would let a rookie gain an altitude advantage, and then, while reading a newspaper or eating an apple, he would out-maneuver him and get on his tail. But when he tried this on O'Hare, he couldn't gain an advantage. Duly impressed with O'Hare's impressive flying abilities, Thach closely mentored the promising young pilot.

In early 1941, VF-3 transferred to Enterprise, while Saratoga underwent a major refit at Bremerton. While the 'Big E' was at San Diego, Warner Brothers filmed the early Technicolor movie Dive Bomber on it, featuring Errol Flynn, Ralph Bellamy, and Fred MacMurray. (Click to buy it from Reel.com)
July was an important time for Ed O'Hare. He met his future wife, Rita (proposing to her the first time he met her) and also made his first flight in a Wildcat. He and Rita married six weeks later, and for a honeymoon, they sailed to Hawaii in separate ships, Butch on Enterprise and Rita in a passenger liner.

Saving the Lexington
On February 20, 1942, Butch O'Hare demonstrated in real life, and when it counted most, the fighting skills he had mastered. The carrier Lexington had been assigned the dangerous task of penetrating enemy-held waters north of New Ireland. From there her planes were to make a strike at Japanese shipping in the harbor at Rabaul. Unfortunately, while still 400 miles from Rabaul, the Lexington was discovered by a giant four-engine Kawanishi flying boat. Lieutenant Commander John Thach, skipper of the Lexington's Wildcat fighters, shot down the Japanese "Snooper," but not before it had radioed the carrier's position. That afternoon Commander Thach led six Wildcats into the air to intercept nine twin-engine enemy bombers. In a determined attack each of the Wildcats destroyed a bomber and damaged two more. The ship's anti-aircraft guns finished off the rest. In the meantime, nine more Japanese bombers were reported on the way. Six Wildcats, one of them piloted by Butch O'Hare, roared off the Lexington's deck to stop them. O'Hare and his wingman spotted the V formation of bombers first and dived to try to head them off. The other F4F pilots were too far away to reach most of the enemy planes before they released their bombs. As if this weren't bad enough, O'Hare's wingman discovered his guns were jammed. He was forced to turn away. Butch O'Hare stood alone between the Lexington and the bombers.

O'Hare didn't hesitate. Full throttle, he roared into the enemy formation. While tracers from the concentrated fire of the nine bombers streaked around him, he took careful aim at the starboard engine of the last plane in the V and squeezed his trigger. Slugs from the Wildcats six .50-caliber guns ripped into the Japanese bomber's wing and the engine literally jumped out of its mountings. The bomber spun crazily toward the sea as O'Hare's guns tore up another enemy plane. Then he ducked to the other side of the formation and smashed the port engine of the last Japanese plane there.

One by one he attacked the oncoming bombers until five had been downed. Commander Thach later reported that at one point he saw three of the bombers falling in flames at the same time. By now Thach and the other pilots had joined the fight. This was lucky because O'Hare was out of ammunition. The Wildcats took care of several more bombers and Lexington managed to evade the few bombs that were released. It was an amazing example of daring and shooting skill. Afterward Thach figured out that Butch O'Hare had used only sixty rounds of ammunition for each plane he destroyed. He had probably saved his ship. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the highest decoration of his country, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

With his Medal of Honor presentation, bond tours, and other commitments, Butch was out of combat from early 1942 until late 1943. On October 10, 1943, he flew with VF-6 in the air strikes against Wake Island. On this mission Alex Vraciu, the future ace, was Butch's section leader. Both O'Hare and Vraciu scored that day.

Night Fighting
In November, 1943, the Americans landed in the Gilberts (Tarawa and Makin), and the carriers were covering the landings. Equipped with the new F6F Hellcats, the US fighter pilots owned the skies, and could protect the Navy's warships from Japanese aircraft. From their bases in the Marianas, the Japanese quickly developed tactics to send torpedo-armed Bettys on night missions against the US carriers. In late November they launched these low-altitude strikes almost nightly, in a deadly attempt to get at Enterprise and other American ships.

Ed O'Hare, now Enterprise Commander - Air Group (CAG), was deeply involved in developing ad hoc counter-tactics, the first carrier-based night fighter operations of the US Navy. As the primitive radars were very bulky, they were carried on the Enterprise, on the fairly large TBF Avengers, but not on the smaller and faster Hellcats. The plan required the ship's Fighter Director Officer (FDO) to spot the incoming Bettys at a distance and send the Avengers and Hellcats toward them. The radar-equipped Avengers would then lead the Hellcats into position behind the incoming Bettys, close enough for the Hellcat pilots to spot visually the Bettys blue exhaust flames. Finally, the Hellcats would close in and shoot down the torpedo-carrying bombers. All the planes on both sides would be flying at low level. The plan was experimental, complicated, risky, and necessary - if the Bettys were to be thwarted.

The night of November 27, 1943 was the first combat test of the plan, following an earlier mission that hadn't contacted the Japs. The 'Black Panthers', as the night fighters were dubbed, included two sections of three planes. Both included two Hellcats and one Avenger. Butch led his section from his F6F, Warren Skon flew on his wing; Lt. Cdr. Phillips piloted the TBF with radarman Hazen Rand and gunner Alvin Kernan crewing the plane. (Alvin Kernan's memoirs of his experiences as an enlisted man on US Navy carrier during WWII, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, describe this night in detail, from the perspective of the man who fired the Avenger's gun seconds before Butch disappeared. (The book also happens to be the best-written narrative of WWII naval aviation that I've read in a long time. I recommend it highly. But it's now out-of-print.)

The night's events were complicated and confusing: the Hellcats had trouble finding the Avenger, the FDO had difficulty putting any of them on the targets, and it was all new to everyone. Phillips, in his lightly armed Avenger, found some of the attacking Japanese bombers and surprisingly, shot two of them down. Following that brief action, in the dark, with nothing to be seen but the flaming gasoline from the downed Bettys burning on the water (for over an hour?), the O'Hare and Skon got into position behind the Avenger. About that time, the Avenger identified a Betty behind the Hellcats. Kernan fired at it. Moments later, O'Hare failed to respond to the radio; he had gone down.

What happened? There are three possible explanations:
1) Friendly fire, i.e. Kernan mistakenly shot O'Hare down.
2) The Japanese bomber shot O'Hare down, in a quick, lucky burst that killed Butch instantly without heavily damaging the Hellcat.
3) When Kernan opened up, O'Hare took evasive action, the Hellcat's wingtip touched a wave and dipped into the ocean. There is no definitive answer. In his recent, thoroughly-researched biography of O'Hare, the respected author John Lundstrom inclines toward the second explanation (Butch was shot down by the Betty), but concludes that O'Hare died in a "freak occurrence in a dangerous and complicated operation."

For their roles in protecting the carrier and in carrying out the Navy's first combat night-fighting mission, Phillips, Rand, and Kernan were awarded Navy Crosses. (Cynics ever since have concluded that the Navy, having to choose between courts-martial or medals for the Avenger crew, opted for the latter, not wanting to admit that its biggest hero had been brought down by friendly fire.)

Having read Lundstrom's book, Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Edward O'Hare, and Kernan's memoirs, Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey, I'm inclined to accept Lundstrom's most likely explanation, and also his general conclusion. Both books are very well-written , and I recommend them to readers interested in this topic, not merely for the events of November 27, 1943. (On a note of personal coincidence, I -- me, the author of this website -- took an English course at Yale University in 1974, taught by the well-known Shakespearean scholar, Alvin B. Kernan. - SS)



Regards,
F9W
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OPNLguy
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:48 am

How about the historical connection between Boeing and Chicago? United started out as a Boeing division ( as a different name) and was later spun off, United grew, Boeing eventually moved their HQ to the old Morton Salt HQ downtown....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
F9Widebody
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:54 am

Forgot to mention it, but the part you'll want to read is the intro, and especially "saving the lexington." I have also heard that O' hare's father was Capone's lawyer and helped to get him convicted to set a good example for his son. Sorry if some of you have already heard about this.

Regards,
F9W
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WNfan
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:18 pm

Something interesting to consider might be the 727 that landed at Meigs one time. It was the final flight for the aircraft, as United donated it to the Museum of Science and Industry, and it is on permanent exhibit there.

http://www.msichicago.org/exhibit/transport/flight/727.html

It's not much but it might help.

Good luck with your project.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:01 pm

Well Dumbass Dailey did something that will be a part of history now by ripping up the runway at Meigs.

You can talk about how Midway used to be the main passenger airport before ORD got built, and how for the longest time ORD took the title of the worlds busiest airport until ATL passed it.
 
Chgoan
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:17 am

There was also a United 727 that crashed into Lake Michigan back in the 60s or 70s (sorry...can't remember when it was). The 727 just dropped in the lake out of no where on its approach into O'Hare.


In addition, I believe Lake Michigan and Chicago was used as a training hub for war planes and aircraft carriers back during the periods of WWII....again I think. I thought I remember seeing a piece about a story on Chicago's PBS one time. Might be worth checking into. =) In fact the more I think about it....I know there are diving expeditions oh so often I'll hear about where they're out in the lake diving down to check out the war planes that sit at the bottom of the lake that crashed during training. That could be an interesting story....
 
MidnightMike
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:43 am


Well, you can write about United Airlines or even Boeing.


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HlywdCatft
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:54 am

There is a navy station north of Chicago still

What UA 727 that crashed in the lake? Was it empty? or did it just ditch and people got rescued? Obviously it wasn't that serious because its not in my airliner crash book
 
WNfan
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:21 am

ORD is still the busiest airport in terms of aircraft operations. ATL does have more people rummaging through it. Technically they are both the world's busiest, depending on what you measure.

Any air traffic controller will agree that aircraft operations are what makes an airport truly busy.

Midway was called "The busiest square mile on Earth" for many years, and it has a wonderful history. A new book came out in the past year on the subject. Good luck with your project!
 
Chgoan
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:36 am

I'll have to look up the details on the 727 crash. It wasn't empty - it was full of passengers. I believe everyone died - it ditched or nose dived into the lake off the North Shore burbs due to altitude misjudement.

Here's two different links with some info:

http://www.cbs2chicago.com/special/local_story_231172754.html

http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi_bin/view_details.cgi?date=08161965®=N7036U&airline=United+Airlines

http://www.copi.com/defrauding_america/chp_03.html

Its weird cause there isn't much written about it at all. I just remember seeing it noted on the news when the anniversary comes up here in Chicago. Otherwise I would have never known about it.

[Edited 2003-10-16 18:38:50]

[Edited 2003-10-16 18:40:42]
 
sovietjet
Topic Author
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:05 am

thanks guys I'll probably write about O'hare becoming the busiest airport combined with it being the United hub. By the way is United the biggest airline now?
 
Chgoan
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:17 am

American technically is now since they bought out TWA.
 
CcrlR
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:55 am

thanks guys I'll probably write about O'hare becoming the busiest airport combined with it being the United hub. By the way is United the biggest airline now?


You can always write about Midway Airport. There is a book about the airport and you can find that one and try using that if you can't use ORD.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
AlitaliaORD
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:13 am

hey by the way its Daley not dailey
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Midway2AirTran
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RE:!Aviation In Chicago Project Urgent!

Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:30 am

The coming ORD modernization and opportunities that can come from it. Plenty to talk about with all the different views about the issue. A very interesting subject for Chicago aviation. Daley is doing a good job pushing this along!
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