Butler, Charles Lewis, LTC

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1971-1972, 1542, MACV Advisory Team 51 Bac Lieu, Field Advisory Element MACV
Service Years
1946 - 1972


Lieutenant Colonel

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Theodore (Teddy) Earley (Charlie 3-2A1) to remember Butler, Charles Lewis, LTC.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Grand Rapids
Last Address
Grand Rapids

Casualty Date
Jun 21, 1972
Hostile, Died while Missing
Binh Long (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 048

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2016, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
7th Infantry Regiment Army Garrison, Fort Devens, MA7th Infantry DivisionInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
3rd Armored DivisionHQ, US Army Cadet CommandU.S. ArmyMilitary Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1950-1950, 1542, 7th Infantry Regiment
  1950-1951, 1542, Army Garrison, Fort Devens, MA
  1951-1953, 1542, 7th Infantry Division
  1954-1958, 1542, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1958-1960, 1542, 3rd Armored Division
  1961-1962, 1542, HQ, US Army Cadet Command
  1969-1970, 1542, MAAG - Brazil
  1971-1972, 1542, MACV Advisory Team 51 Bac Lieu, Field Advisory Element MACV
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1946-1950, United States Military Academy
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

26 May 2005

From A1 to 1W -- Chuck Butler achieved his childhood dream of being a West Pointer in 1946. He left West Point in June 1950 and nearly went directly to combat in Korea. Within six months of graduation he had earned the DSC and the Purple Heart in combat, distinguishing himself in leading his task force to the relief of another unit, surviving an ambush, though heavily wounded, and successfully getting his men to safety.

Though an Infantry Officer dedicated to his profession and service to country to the end, he was equally devoted to his wife and three children as they moved around repeatedly.

LTC Butler served at Ft. Benning, Germany (2nd Armor), University of Mississippi (with the ROTC program), and with the Joint Brazil United States Military Group in Rio de Janeiro. At the end of that assignment, he went to Vietnam for his second tour there, serving with Advisory Team 51. With the fateful battle for the defense of Saigon taking place at An Loc, LTC Butler volunteered to fill in for a brother officer who was medevaced, and was killed on 21 June 1972 serving as advisor to the 31st Regiment, 21st Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He was ten weeks short of turning 45, and three months from the end of his tour.

The U.S. Army Reserve Center in Saco, Maine, was dedicated to his memory in 1973.

From his son,
Lawrence E. Butler
7130 Sarajevo Place, Dulles, Va 20189

13 Jan 2007


by a friend,
Todd Martin II

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Lieutenant Colonel Butler is mentioned in a memorial placed for LTC Burr Willey who also died in the siege at An Loc.



The first photo above was taken shortly before his graduation from the US Military Academy in 1950; the second before his departure for Vietnam in 1971. It should be noted this would be his second tour in Vietnam; he is wearing the ribbons for an individual award of the RVN Cross of Gallantry and the RVN Campaign medals.

Just as the two photos above represent the beginning and the end of LTC Butler's service, so too do the two Citations below reflect his valor during his first and final tours in combat. He rests in Site 225, Section VII, Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery, Hawaii.

APO San Francisco

11 March 1951



1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced.

Charles L. Butler, Second Lieutenant, Infantry
Co. F, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division

Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 15 December 1950
Theater: Republic of Korea
Reason: The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to Second Lieutenant Charles L. Butler, Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company F, Seventh Infantry Regiment, Third Infantry Division, on December 15, 1950, near Singyang-ni, Korea. He was in command of Task Force Fox, which had been organized in an attempt to relieve a platoon of Company G when it was enveloped by a numerically superior enemy force. While en route to the objective area, his task force was ambushed. With no thought for his personal safety, he was continuously in the forefront of the battle, rallying his men on to their objective. In the ensuing fierce encounter, he was wounded in the left arm. Despite his painful wound, he continued to press his men forward, reassuring them with words of encouragement as they advanced. It was then that he received a second wound, in the abdomen. Even though seriously wounded, he refused medical attention and continued the attack with the assistance of his platoon sergeant. When the order was received to withdraw, he was unable to walk but requested that he be lifted onto the tank so that he could fire the machine gun mounted on the turret to support his platoon in the withdrawal from its encircled position. Through this action, his extreme coolness under fire, though suffering much pain, served to inspire his men, thereby facilitating the successful withdrawal of his force with a minimum of casualties.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.

APO San Francisco



1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.

Charles L. Butler, Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry
Advisory Team 51 (21st ARVN Division), MAC-V

Awarded: Silver Star
Date action: 6 June 1972 to 21 June 1972
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For gallantry in action: Colonel Butler distinguished himself by gallantry in action during the period 6 June 1972 to 21 June 1972, while serving as Advisor, 31st Regiment, 21st Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Colonel Butler was operating with a task force at Tan Khai to establish and maintain a base from which to provide fire support for the most forward elements of the division engaged in relieving the siege on An Loc. Realizing the importance of the Tan Khai base to the firendly forces, the enemy relentlessly subjected the base to fierce ground attacks and a heavy volume of mortar, artillery and rocket fire. Colonel Butler, without regard for his own safety repeatedly walked the perimeter checking the defensive positions and providing advise and assistance to the Vietnamese in establishing a sound defensive network. Repeatedly throughout this period he exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to request and direct numerous deadly effective artillery and tactical air strikes upon the enemy. He succeeded in influencing the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in the division to probe and expand the perimeter of the Tan Khai base to reduce the enemy mortar and anti-aircraft sites in the area. Through his untiring efforts he was instrumental to the artillery units firing counter mortar fire during enemy attacks. Colonel Butler by his demonstrated courage and personal example inspired and exhorted the friendly troops to excel and to maintain the vital base at Tan Khai. Lieutenant Colonel Butler's conspicuous gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.


Charles Lewis Butler
Lieutenant Colonel

  Home of Record: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  Date of birth:  Saturday, 09/03/1927

  Service:        Army  (Regular)
  Grade at loss:  O5
  Rank:           Lieutenant Colonel
  ID No:          723058933
  MOS:            G1542 Infantry Unit Commander - General Staff
  LenSvc:         Not recorded

  Start Tour:     Saturday, 09/11/1971
  Change Status:  Wednesday, 06/21/1972
                  Missing to Died while Missing
  Age at Loss:    44
  Remains:        Body recovered
  Location:       Binh Long, South Vietnam
  Type:           Hostile, died while missing
  Reason:         Misadventure - Ground casualty

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