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Lieut John Edward Butts

Lieut John Edward Butts

Birth
Medina, Orleans County, New York, USA
Death 23 Jun 1944 (aged 21)
France
Burial Medina, Orleans County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 5612945 · View Source
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World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. He was awarded the medal posthumously from US President Harry Truman for his actions as a 2nd lieutenant on Company E, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, US Army on June 14, 16, and 23, 1944 in Normandy, France during World War II. One of five brothers who served in World War II, he joined the US Army National Guard in 1939 while attending Medina High School, Medina, New York. The following year he was federalized and after the US entered World War II in December 1941, he was sent to Hawaii. In November 1942 he returned to the US to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Following his training, he was sent to North Africa and saw combat action there and later participated in the Invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign. In October 1943 he was sent to England in preparation for the invasion of France. He came ashore at Utah Beach in Normandy, France a few days after D-Day (June 6, 1944) and participated in heavy fighting near Saint-Lo where he wounded twice before was killed in action at the age of 21. Originally interred in the US Military Cemetery at Sainte-Mere-Eglise in Normandy, France, in April 1948 his remains were disinterred and returned to Medina for reburial. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received the Purple Heart (with two oak leaf clusters, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. His Medal of Honor citation reads: "Lieutenant Butts Heroically led his platoon against the enemy in Normandy, France, on 14, 16, and 23 June 1944. Although painfully wounded on the 14th near Orglandes and again on the 16th while spearheading an attack to establish a bridgehead across the Douve River, he refused medical aid and remained with his platoon. A week later, near Flottemanville Hague, he led an assault on a tactically important and stubbornly defended hill studded with tanks, antitank guns, pillboxes, and machinegun emplacements, and protected by concentrated artillery and mortar fire. As the attack was launched, 2LT BUTTS, at the head of his platoon, was critically wounded by German machinegun fire. Although weakened by his injuries, he rallied his men and directed 1 squad to make a flanking movement while he alone made a frontal assault to draw the hostile fire upon himself. Once more he was struck, but by grim determination and sheer courage continued to crawl ahead. When within 10 yards of his objective, he was killed by direct fire. By his superb courage, unflinching valor and inspiring actions, 2LT BUTTS enabled his platoon to take a formidable strong point and contributed greatly to the success of his battalion's mission." His original Medal of Honor resides in the Butts Memorial Library in Medina. In 1957 the airfield at Fort Carson, Colorado was named the Butts Army Airfield in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Edward Cole
  • Added: 14 Jul 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5612945
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut John Edward Butts (4 Aug 1922–23 Jun 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5612945, citing Saint Mary's Cemetery, Medina, Orleans County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .