Kernan's Heroism in "Crossing the Line" Term Paper by Nicky

A report on some of Alvin Kernan's acts of honor, courage and commitment as described in his work, "Crossing the Line".
# 150084 | 764 words | 1 source | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 25, 2012 in Literature (American) , History (U.S. World Wars) , Military (General)

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The paper describes several acts Kernan participated in and witnessed during his years aboard carriers and Avenger aircraft during WWII. The paper looks at Kernan's discussion in his work, "Crossing the Line" of the Battle of Midway and the failed torpedo bomber attacks. The paper then describes the sinking of the USS Hornet and Kernan's spontaneous courage and commitment to a shipmate. Finally, the paper addresses how Kernan attempted to save Butch O'Hare's life just before O'Hare was shot down.

Courage at Midway
Death of the USS Hornet
The Heroism and Loss of Butch O'Hare

From the Paper:

"Kernan witnessed the death of Butch O'Hare, the Medal of Honor winner, after whom O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, is named. As a matter of fact, it was Kernan, flying as the rear gunner in the Avenger aircraft, who attempted to save O'Hare's life just before he was shot down.
"Both were patrolling along with another Hellcat to protect the U.S. carriers at sea when low-flying Japanese torpedo bombers, called Betty's, attacked at night. The Hellcats chased them off, but as they turned back toward the carriers, Kernan, in the Avenger, noticed an unknown aircraft slip in behind O'Hare's Hellcat.
"Kernan fired. But the Japanese aircraft fired first, right down into the cockpit of O'Hare's aircraft. His Hellcat descended "gently" as it was later described and Kernan saw a grayish splash in the ocean below.
"At first it was thought that perhaps Kernan had mistakenly shot this war hero down by accident. But it was later determined that he had not, and Kernan, for his efforts to save O'Hare, was awarded the Navy Cross.
""It greatly relieved the guilt that I carried about the possibility that I had hit the group commander (O'Hare) while firing at the Japanese intruder" (Kernan, 2007, p. xvi)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kernan, A. (2007). Crossing the line: A bluejacket's oddyssey in World War II. New Haven, CT.: Yale University Press.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Kernan's Heroism in "Crossing the Line" (2012, January 25) Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Kernan's Heroism in "Crossing the Line"" 25 January 2012. Web. 21 January. 2022. <>