William Butler - Captain
Year at ISU: 1945 - Aerospace Engineering
Captain William Howard Butler was born to Thomas A. Butler and Corinne Cox on March 31, 1919. He grew up in Indianola, Iowa.
As stated in his letter, William entered the Army Air Corps as a cadet on May 15, 1942 and became a second lieutenant on February 6, 1943. He became a first lieutenant in January 1944 and made Captain in June 1945, months after his letter was written.
January 16, 1945 -Somewhere in China:
"Dear Mr. Barron, [I] Have just read your letter of Sept. 23rd called the Bulletin Board which was very interesting as I had lost all contact with I.S.C. since leaving in the Fall of '41." After leaving College, I helped by Father on the farm until enlisting in the Army on March 24th, 1942. I was appointed Aviation Cadet on May 15th '42 and proceeded to Santa Ana, Calif. My Primary Flying School training was at the famous Thunderbird Field at Phoenix, Arizona, in which State I completed my training. After receiving my Commission and Wings at Luke Field, I proceeded to Fort Myers, Florida for training in the Bell Aircobra airplane.
On April 23rd '43 I left the United States for the 13th Air Force in the South Pacific. While in the Pacific, I completed 76 missions and 155 hours against the Japs on such famous places as Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Rabaul. Part of the time, while not in actual combat, was spent in New Zealand on rest leave of which I can say it is a great country. Orders returned me to the States April 30th '44 when I was sent to Thomasville Georgia as an instructor in a fighter pilot school. I wasn't satisfied in the States, therefore returned overseas in November of 1944, when I found myself assigned to the Great Flying Wall Squadron or known to the Army as the 16th Fighter Squadron of the Fourteenth Air Force in China.
While in the Pacific Area I was appointed first lieutenant on Dec. 23rd '43. The Chine Theatre has added one battle star to my Asiatic Pacific Campaign ribbon which already had one star for the battle of the Northern Solomons. I have been awarded the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters for missions performed against the enemy.
The above should be sufficient to acquaint you with what I have been doing since leaving good ol' Iowa State. Now I believe farming will probably be my occupation after the war, therefore I have a request to make of you. Will you please send me information concerning Iowa State's course in Farm Operations. Also, if you have any information as to the address of Ian Cunningham of the class of '44, I would greatly appreciate it since we were good friends at school, but I have since lost all trace of him. It would please me greatly to become a member of the Alumni Association and receive the Alumnus.
You will find enclosed one dollar as payment for this year's dues.
Sincerely yours, William H. Butler 1st Lt. A. C."
William died on July 16, 1945, at Chengkung China.