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Maj Walter Sidney Butler, Jr
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Birth: Sep. 23, 1920
Huntingdon
Carroll County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Oct. 3, 1945, China

Major USAAF WWII
AS/N 0-431383
[Enlistment S/N 14042874]
14th Air Force
23rd Fighter Group, 76th Fighter Squadron
Pilot


From the "Carroll County Democrat"
May 6, 1938

COMMENCEMENT OF
HUNTINGDON HIGH

Exercises to Begin Sunday With
Baccalaureate Sermon by
Rev. Norman

Miss Jeanne Douglas, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Roy A. Douglas, has won first-honors in the Huntingdon High School, and will be valedictorian of the class which graduates next week. Miss Volla Freeman, daughter of Mrs. E. C. Freeman, won second honors and will be salutatorian at the class exercise.

According to an announcement made by Howard Pudor, head of the school, the commencement exercises will begin next Sunday morning, May 15, with the preaching of the baccalaureate sermon at the high school auditorium at 11 o'clock by the Rev. C. E. Norman, pastor of the local Methodist church.

Monday night, May 16, a combination recital will be given by the expression pupils of Mrs. Camilla Alexander and the music pupils of Miss Hazel Mebane.

Tuesday night, May 17, the Seniors will present their play, "Tom Sawyer," based on Mark Twain's impromptu novel.

Wednesday Night, May 18, the Seniors will have their banquet.

Friday night, May 20, will be commencement exercises. Dr. John Jeter Hurt, president of Union University at Jackson, will deliver the class address, and the honor pupils will speak. Dr. Roy A. Douglas, chairman of the city board of education, will present the diplomas.

Mr. Pudor, head of the school, will present the Triangular Award which is to go to the best all round student from the standpoint of leadership, scholarship, and loyalty, as determined by a vote of the faculty and members of the Senior class.

All of the entertainments are free with the exception of the Senior play on Tuesday night when an admission of 25 cents will be charged for adults and 15 cents for children.

The program will begin at 6 o'clock each evening.

There are 25 members of the graduating class, as follows: Jeanne Douglas, Volla Freeman, Winfield Clement, Dorothy Brown, Joe Williams, Connie Sherrill, Bill Ivey, Louise Enochs, Alice May Priest, Walter Butler, Jr., Dorothy McCuan, Earnest Earl Smith, Jim Johnson, Addie Johnson, Anita Osborne, Ruth Rae Ward, Billie Mae Churchwell, Robert Giles, Darnall Giles, Darris Swindell, James McLemore, Myrtle Kirby, Thomas Edwards, Ruth Austin, and Yvonne Wall.
The school has had a very successful year. The faculty and class are to be congratulated upon the satisfactory work accomplished. This is Prof. Pudor's first year as head of the school and he and his able corps of teachers have maintained a high degree of efficiency in the work throughout this year.

Walter Butler was the son of Walter Sidney Butler, Sr. and Mabel Glen Giles of Huntingdon, Carroll County, Tennessee. His siblings were Martha Sue, James William, Mary Joe, Lucy Thomas, Harry Glen, Roy Giles, and Eleanor Mabel. After completing two years of college at Memphis State, Memphis, Tennessee, Walter enlisted in the Air Corps 26 April 1941 at Jackson, Mississippi. His family honors his memory with a monument at Liberty All Cemetery, Huntingdon, Tennessee.

Major Walter S. Butler, Jr. is mentioned in a newspaper article, having flown in the same 23rd Fighter Group and 76th Fighter Squadron that came under command of the famous WWII Flying Tigers All Volunteer Group (AVG) Ace Pilot Brigadier General David Lee 'Tex' Hill (See findagrave.com, David Lee Hill, Bexar County, Texas) after the AVG merged with the 14th Air Force under the command of General Claire 'Lee' Chennault (See findagrave.com, Claire Chennault, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia).

He is also commemorated on page 394 of THE ALUMINUM TRAIL by Chick Marrs Quinn. This book lists and honors all of those that went missing and were lost "over The Hump" in the China-Burma-India Theatre during WWII.

Major Butler was leading a dive bombing and strafing mission in P-51D #44-11284 3 April 1945 on a course of 130 degrees. The visibility was four miles in haze. He and his wing aircraft had left a base at Laohwangping with a target at Yangtong. His plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on their last pass approximately one-half mile east of Erh Tong [ie Erh-Tong Airfield at Kweilin], headed west.

His wingman, 2nd Lt Harry Hill, Jr., ASN 0-705582, stated the following: "Butler was leading the flight. I was flying Butler's wing. Butler called the flight and said that this was our last pass. I saw Butler heading west as I was making my pass in a SW direction. I pulled up from my pass and started rendezvous, calling Butler and asking his position. The last thing I heard, Butler called 'I am hit.' The remainder of the flight tried to call Butler but no radio contact was made. We rendezvous, searched for his plane or parachute and sighted neither, it is believed he possibly went into the cloud layer and headed north."

From the "Carroll County Democrat" and "Tennessee Republican" in April of 1945

Major Walter S. Butler

Mr. and Mrs. Walter S. Butler, Wednesday received a telegram from the war department that their son, Major Walter S. Butler, has been missing in India in the Burma area since April 3, 1945.

Major Butler may not have even been aware of his late promotion from Captain to Major. His last letter to his parents did not indicate he had been informed of his promotion.

Major Butler was one of those American boys who volunteered at the beginning of the war to fight the Japs in China. He was under the command of General Clair Chennault as one of the immortal Flying Tigers. These flyers had obsolete planes at the beginning. They lacked most of the things needed to successfully combat the Japs, but their skill and daring made up for any lack of mechanical aids.

With the arrival of more men and newer planes to China, the original Flying Tigers were sent back to the states--that is those who remained. Major Butler, then a Captain came home, wearing an old uniform because he had given all his good clothes to his buddies when he left China as clothing was difficult to get.

After remaining in the states for a time, Major Butler volunteered for active overseas duty again. He did not have to do this because he had served his allotted time, but this was his choosing.

He chose active service again where his experience, bravery and flying skill was needed by his country. Often decorated for bravery, he again chose to "seek out the enemies of his country."

There might be a slim chance that Major Butler made a forced landing or parachuted to safety. We all hope such is the case.

Major Butler was declared dead 3 October 1945.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart.

He remains missing.

The yearbook of 1946 was dedicated to Pfc. Billy Harper Massey, killed in action July 28, 1944; Maj. Walter Butler, missing in action April 3, 1945; Lt. Robert McCollum, killed in action June 20, 1944; and Sgt. Fred Palmer, killed in action August 11, 1944.

Sources:

Military Information and Biography Provided by B24CoPilotNiece

Family Information Provided by and Photos Courtesy of contributor Linda Marrison

"Carroll County Democrat" on May 6, 1938 and "Tennessee Republican" on May 13, 1938

Clella Mae Carter Scrapbooks, Carroll County Historical Society, McKenzie, Tennessee

For Other Pictures, see Walter Butler, Jr. Listed Under Walter Butler, Sr.

Many thanks to Lucy Butler Hines, Sara Lee Butler, and Mary Ann Lamar

Burial Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Manila
Manila City, Philippines

Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Walter Sidney Butler (1877 - 1951)
  Mabel Glen Giles Butler (1887 - 1954)
 
 Siblings:
  James W. Butler (1912 - 1936)*
  Mary Josephine Butler Carter (1914 - 2004)*
  Lucy Thomas Butler Hines (1916 - 2013)*
  Harry Glen Butler (1918 - 1997)*
  Walter Sidney Butler (1920 - 1945)*
  Walter Sidney Butler (1920 - 1945)
  Roy Giles Butler (1923 - 2000)*
  Mabel Eleanor Butler (1926 - 1927)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: Entered the service from Tennessee
 
Burial:
Liberty All Cemetery
Huntingdon
Carroll County
Tennessee, USA
 
Created by: Linda Marrison
Record added: Jul 27, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 94300895
Maj Walter Sidney Butler, Jr
Added by: Ben
 
Maj Walter Sidney Butler, Jr
Added by: B24CoPilotNiece
 
Maj Walter Sidney Butler, Jr
Added by: B24CoPilotNiece
 
 
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I will always remember you. Thanks for your sacrifice.
- Your loving niece, Kathy Hines
 Added: Apr. 2, 2016
I think of you and hope we can find something. I love you even though I never got to meet you. Rest in peace, Uncle Walter!
- Your niece, Kathy Hines
 Added: Jan. 14, 2016
Thank you for your brave service, and your ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. May you rest in God's eternal peace.
- PPC
 Added: Jan. 1, 2015
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