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Butler Buchanan Miltonberger
Miltonberger as a Major General.
Nickname Butts[1]
Born (1897-08-31)August 31, 1897
Died March 23, 1977(1977-03-23) (aged 79)
Place of birth North Platte, Nebraska
Place of death North Platte, Nebraska
Place of burial Fort McPherson National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1916 - 1947
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit Nebraska Army National Guard
Commands held 134th Infantry Regiment
Chief of the National Guard Bureau

Mexican Border Campaign
World War I
World War II

Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (3)

Butler Buchanan Miltonberger (August 31, 1897 – March 23, 1977) was a United States Army Major General who served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Butler Buchanan Miltonberger was born in North Platte, Nebraska, on August 31, 1897. He graduated from North Platte High School in 1916 and enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard. Miltonberger was mobilized during the Mexican Border Campaign.[2]

World War I[edit | edit source]

During World War I, Miltonberger fought in the Argonne region with the 4th Infantry Division, and attained the rank of First Sergeant.[3]

Post World War I[edit | edit source]

In early 1923 Miltonberger was commissioned a First Lieutenant. He was quickly promoted to Captain as commander of Company D, 134th Infantry Regiment. The regiment trained in Nebraska and at out of state locations including Fort Ord and Camp San Luis Obispo in California, Camp Butler in North Carolina, and Camp Rucker in Alabama.[4]

As a civilian, he worked in North Platte as a postman, and was also employed in road and bridge surveying and construction.[5]

Miltonberger was promoted to Major in 1933. In 1935 his unit was mobilized in response to an ongoing dispute between labor and management at the Omaha Traction Company and a flood on the Republican River.[6]

In 1939 he single-handedly captured Willard Brucks, an escaped killer from Ohio who had broken into the Omaha armory to seize weapons.[7]

Miltonberger was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1940.

World War II[edit | edit source]

At the beginning of the World War II, Miltonberger was promoted to Colonel as commander of the 134th Infantry Regiment. He led his regiment throughout France, including Morhange, Vire, Alsace, Saint-Lô, Geilenkirchen, Bastogne, Mortain, Nancy, Sarreguemines, and the Elbe River.[8][9]

In February, 1945 Miltonberger was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as Assistant Division Commander of the 35th Division.[10] In November, 1945 he returned to the United States and remained on active duty at the War Department.

Chief of National Guard Bureau[edit | edit source]

In 1946 President Harry S. Truman, a fellow veteran of the 35th Division, nominated Miltonberger to be Chief of the National Guard Bureau as a Major General.[11] As Chief Miltonberger worked to reorganize the National Guard following its mobilization for World War II, including the formation of the Air National Guard.[12]

Miltonberger retired from the military in August, 1947 because of poor health.[13][14]

Later career[edit | edit source]

After his retirement, Miltonberger returned to Nebraska. He resided in North Platte and Lincoln, and was employed by the Nebraska State Engineer.[15]

In 1950 he became Chairman of the "Miltonberger Board", which consisted of current and former National Guard officers and was empowered to review the National Guard's organizational structure, internal policies and operational procedures,and make recommendations for long term improvements.[16][17]

Death and burial[edit | edit source]

Miltonberger died in North Platte on March 23, 1977.[18] He is buried at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell, Nebraska.[19]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Miltonberger awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, the French Croix de Guerre, the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau, the Luxembourg War Cross and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Combat Infantryman Badge
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star Legion of Merit w/ OLC
2nd Row Bronze Star w/ two OLCs Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal w/ Battle Clasp Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
3rd Row American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ four service stars World War II Victory Medal
4th Row Army of Occupation Medal w/ Germany Clasp Chevalier of the Legion of Honour French Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with Palm Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Nebraska State Historical Society, Butler B. Miltonberger Papers, Biography, Butler B. Miltonberger, accessed April 22, 2013
  2. Nebraska State Historical Society, Butler B. Miltonberger Papers, Biography, Butler B. Miltonberger, accessed April 22, 2013
  3. Nebraska Studies.org, Nebraskans on the Front Lines, 1925-1949, Profile, Burler B. Miltonberger, accessed April 22, 2013
  4. Nebraska Adjutant -General, Biennial Report, 1927, page 48
  5. Nebraska Press Association, 900 Famous Nebraskans, Entry for Butler B. Miltonberger, accessed April 22, 2013
  6. Butler B. Miltonberger, James A. Huston, 134th Infantry Regiment: Combat History of World War II 1946, Chapter 1
  7. Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times, Insane Convict Seized During Armory Battle, January 9, 1939
  8. Albert Love Enterprises, Presenting the 35th Infantry Division in World War II, 1941-1945, 1946
  9. Matthew Hansen, Omaha World-Herald, The WWII Battle of St. Lo, July 3, 2009
  10. Dwight David Eisenhower, The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower: The War Years, Volume IV, 1970, page 2500
  11. Associated Press, Miami News, Nebraskan Named Guard Bureau Head, January 16, 1946
  12. Associated Press, Reading Eagle, 93 National Guard Units Meet U.S. Test: Recognition Extended for Reorganization, October 21, 1946
  13. National Guard Bureau, Annual report, 1947, page 60
  14. New York Times, Guard Losing Gen. Miltonberger, June 27, 1947
  15. Tom Mooney, nebraska State Historical Society, The Military Career of Butler B. Miltonberger, August 5, 2011
  16. Charles Joseph Gross, Prelude to the Total Force: Air National Guard, 1943-1969, 1984, page 49
  17. Associated Press, Palm Beach Post, New Board Named to Reorganize National Guard, February 26, 1950
  18. New York Times, Butler B. Miltonberger, Ex-National Guard Chief, March 25, 1977
  19. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Nationwide Gravesite Locator, entry for Butler B. Miltonberger, accessed April 22, 2013

External links[edit | edit source]

Military offices
Preceded by
MG John F. Williams
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
1946 - 1947
Succeeded by
MG Kenneth F. Cramer

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