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Today in World War II History

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February 20, 1942

Lt. Edward "Butch" O'Hare in front of a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter, spring 1942 (US Navy photo)

Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare in front of a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter, spring 1942 (US Navy photo)

80 Years Ago—Feb. 20, 1942: First US Eighth Air Force officers arrive in England.

Japanese land on Portuguese East Timor and Dutch West Timor in the East Indies.

In Norway, 12,000 of 14,000 teachers send official refusals to join the fascist Teacher’s Front; 1300 will be sent to Grini concentration camp near Oslo; only 50 teachers join the Front.

Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare of USS Lexington is credited with shooting down five Japanese planes in six minutes in his F4F Wildcat over Rabaul, becoming the first US Navy ace of the war and the first American “ace in a day”; he will receive the Medal of Honor.

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