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John E. Butts
Born 1922
Died June 23, 1944 (aged 21–22)
Place of birth Medina, New York
Place of death Normandy, France
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1940 - 1944
Rank Second Lieutenant
Unit 60th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

John Edward Butts was a soldier in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Normandy Campaign during World War II. Butts was one of five brothers to serve in the war and the only one to be killed in action.

Gravestone of 2nd Lt. John E. Butts.

[1] Butts joined the army from Buffalo, New York in October 1940.[2] He was killed on June 23, 1944 and is buried in Saint Marys Cemetery, Medina, New York.

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Co. E, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Normandy, France, 14, 16, and June 23, 1944. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Medina, N.Y. G.O. No.: 58, July 19, 1945. Citation:

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.

Legacy[]

After the war, Butts' remains were brought back from Normandy to the United States in 1948 and interred at St. Mary's cemetery in Medina, New York.[1] In 1957 the Army airfield at Fort Carson, Colorado was named the Butts Army Airfield.[3]

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