See Mac on the History Channel

Loading...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Walt Blaseck

In the fall of 1953, I checked into VF-12 as a brand new Ensign, fresh out of flight and Jet School. Your Father was the Skipper and a fine Skipper he was. We were flying "Banshees" and it was a great Bird.

A few months later, we cruised down to "Gitmo" for Aerial gunnery where three other guys
and myself were ComAirLant gunnery champs.Mac was extremely proud of us for that feat.
A short time later, he completed his tour and was transferred out. He was a quiet man who led the squadron by example and intelligence. I for one, was sad to see him go. Through the years we kept in touch and were able to see each other at our Squadron reunion
in San Diego.

During all those years, I never knew he was an "Ace" in WW2 until just a few years ago!
I asked him why he never mentioned it and he replied "I had so many Buddies and friends
killed flying next to me in combat, I preferred not to bring back those memories by talking
about it". Very few men would keep quiet about such an accomplishment!

I'm sure he's on tha big "Carrier in the Sky" lookin down at us, with that big smile and a
twinkle in his eye!


No comments:

Mac recounts a battle victory

Leading the Hellcats was LT Hamilton W. "Mac" McWhorter III, now on his second combat tour in the Pacific after becoming the first Hellcat ace of World War II and the Navy's first double-ace of the war during his first Western Pacific tour a year earlier:

"We were orbiting at 12,000 feet on combat air patrol, when we were given a vector to intercept four bogies at twenty-thousand-plus. We applied full power and started climbing. By the time we got to 20,000, I spotted a single airplane ahead at 24,000, just making a bit of a contrail. I was climbing faster than the others in the division, and hit the water injection to catch up to him. I was right up on him at six o-clock and about one hundred feet below when I opened fire. He never made a move, but the engine went up and then his fuel tank caught. I was so close when he blew up that I had his engine oil all over the canopy. He went straight in as a fireball all the way down."
The date was May 12, 1945 - the Myrt was McWhorter's twelfth and final victory of the war.

Dad's Obit

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 24, 2008
Hamilton “Mac” McWhorter was 7 years old when a barnstorming pilot visited his hometown and he took his first ride in an airplane.

From that moment, he knew he never wanted to do anything else.

The future Navy commander was a naval aviation cadet undergoing training when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Within a couple of years he had become the first American pilot to achieve “Ace” status flying a new airplane, the Hellcat.

By May 1945, he had shot down at least 12 Japanese planes and escaped danger on several occasions. In a book he wrote more than 50 years later, retired Cmdr. McWhorter recounted his war experiences, including battles over North Africa and the Pacific.

Cmdr. McWhorter died of natural causes April 12 at his home in El Cajon. He was 87.

His wife, Louise, said he loved flying and that was a big reason he made a career in the Navy. He later taught three of their five children to fly and after retiring from the Navy, he became a flight instructor at Gillespie Field.

“He was so proud that so many of his students became airline pilots,” she said.

Cmdr. McWhorter didn't talk much about the war to his family until he joined other fighter aces and started touring air shows where the members of the “greatest generation” shared their experiences.

Cmdr. McWhorter was born Feb. 8, 1921, in Athens, Ga., to Hamilton McWhorter Jr. and Nettie Lou Peurifoy McWhorter.

He met his future wife in November 1942 in Norfolk, Va., at a party thrown for a friend who had been shot down over the Atlantic during the invasion of North Africa. The friend had been reported dead, but when his friends found out he had been rescued, they threw a resurrection party.

Eight weeks later, Louise and “Mac” McWhorter were married. The couple had five children and later opened their home to a struggling Chinese immigrant family for a few years.

Cmdr. McWhorter was a member of the American Fighter Aces Association, the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and the Tailhook Association. He received several military honors including five Distinguished Cross Medals. Cmdr. McWhorter was elected to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989.

The family moved to El Cajon in 1968, and he retired as the executive officer of Naval Air Station, Miramar in 1969. Cmdr. McWhorter spent the ensuing years as a “gentleman farmer” tending to avocado trees at the family's home, as a flight instructor and an author.

He coauthored a book, “The First Hellcat Ace,” that was published in 2001. In 2006, Cmdr. McWhorter was interviewed for a History Channel segment on dogfights.

Besides his wife, survivors include sons, Donald of Lemon Grove, William of El Cajon, Hamilton IV of San Diego and Jon of San Diego; daughter, Georgia Scheingross of San Diego; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church of El Cajon. Ashes will be interred at 1 p.m. May 5 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Donations are suggested to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.