On Febuary 1942, the enemy at Rabaul was determined to locate and sink the U.S. Carrier Lexington, and Japanese G4M1 Bettys set out with that end in sight. Alerted to the coming fight, six F4F Wildcats landed on the ''Lady Lex'' to refuel and rearm and six others took to the skies to rid the carrier deck of fully fueled and armed aircraft and to engage the attacking bombers. The fight was bitter.
When a second wave of enemy bombers appeared, only two aircraft, F4F-3s flown by Lieutenant Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Marion Dufilho, were between the attackers and the carrier they protected. Dufilho's machine guns froze but O'Hare dived on the eight bombers and downed four; then he aimed at taking out the master bombardier and interrupting the bomb run.
O'Hare was credited as an ace, having dropped five in one skirmish. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted two grades. Unfortunately, O'Hare was killed in action during a night intercept mission in the assaults on the Gilbert Islands in 1943, apparently the victim of "friendly fire".