Butts, John E., 2LT

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1944, 1542, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1940 - 1944


Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Douglas Butts-Family to remember Butts, John E., 2LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jun 23, 1944
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Combat and Noncombat Operations
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2013, World War II Fallen [Verified]

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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
108th Infantry Regiment9th Infantry Division2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment
  1939-1940, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry
  1944-1944, 1542, 9th Infantry Division
  1944-1944, 1542, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
  1942-1943 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Sicily Campaign (1943)
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Lt. John Butts entered the service as a private on 12 October 1939, serving with F Company, 108th Infantry Regiment., New York National Guard until it was mobilized into Federal service on 10 October 1940. 

He received his commission on 29 November 1942.

Lt. John Butts served with the U.S. Army, E Company, 60th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Division.

During the invasion of France in 1944. He was severely wounded on three occasions and continued leading his men until the 23rd of June when he was killed. He was 21 years of age.

His remains were interred in 1948 at St. Mary's Cemetery in Medina, New York.

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to BUTTS, JOHN E. Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Co. E, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Normandy, France, 14, 16, and 23 June 1944. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Medina, N.Y. G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945.

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, 2d Lt. 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, 2d Lt. Butts enabled his platoon to take a formidable strong point and contributed greatly to the success of his battalion's mission.

New York Enlisted Men's Card

http://www.usa-patriotism.com/heroes/moh/ww2/butts.htm (photo)

http://www.60thinfantry.com/about.php (battle history 10 June onward)

9th Infantry Division
By Turner Publishing Company, John Sperry, page 13. (Details of the actions).

Notes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60th_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)

On June 11, 1944, the 60th Regiment debarked at Utah Beach on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, France. On June 12, 1944, driving hard toward the St. Colombe in France, the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment completely outdistanced the rest of the 9th Division. For a time, the unit was even believed to be lost, but actually the battalion had overrun the German defenses in the face of murderous fire and had cut the main highway to the northwest. Instead of withdrawing, the battalion set up a bridgehead on the Douve River and held the position for seven hours until the rest of the Division caught up to them, facilitating the cutting of the peninsula. Due to this demonstration of rapid penetration and maneuver, the "Scouts Out" motto originated for the battalion. "Scouts Out" is the official greeting of the battalion.

In France, during the heroic days of June 1944, the Regiment once again led the way for the division as it spearheaded the American advance out of the beachhead that cut the Contentin Peninsula and while the 39th and 47th Infantry Regiments secured the vital Port of Cherburg, the 60th cleared Cape La Hague, Northwest of Cherbourg, where John E. Butts was eventually killed. At the pivotal crossing of the Douve River, 1LT John Butts won the Medal of Honor and the Battalion gained another Presidential Unit Citation.

Following the breakout at St. Lo, the regiment rushed south in Operation Cobra, and helped relieve the battered 30th Infantry Division, that had been surrounded by the Germans in their own counterattack: Operation Luttich. Next, the regiment turned east, and helped in the sealing, and clearing of the Falaise Pocket. Continuing east, the Regiment crossed the Marne, Aisne and the Seine Rivers in a matter of days. Next the Regiment entered Belgium, and made its second combat crossing of the Meuse River. Here, LTC Matt Urban won his Medal of Honor having gone AWOL from a hospital to rejoin his comrades and lead them in combat.
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