Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1921 1
Alabama 1
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Personal Details

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Person:
James L Butts 1
Level of Education: Grammar school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1921 1
Alabama 1
Residence:
Place: Coffee County, Alabama 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
12 Aug 1942 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
34337296 1
Enlistment Place:
Ft McClellan Alabama 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Occupation:
General farmers 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0785 1
Film Reel Number: 3.207 1

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Stories

He was called, "Sug," pronounced, "schoog," which was short for Sugar. Red-haired and quick of temper. He had an attitude of confidence and can do. Born on a red clay farm in Coffee County, Alabama, the son of an illiterate share-cropper father named Gene Marion Butts and a tiny fiery lady whose name was Alice Corrine Maddox. His daddy was loved intensely by everyone who knew him and Sug was no exception. He looked like his father and acted like his mother. He entered the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed in Santa Ana, California, then he spent time in New Mexico where he went to gunnery school to become a tail gunner on a bomber. Sent to Italy, the army put him to re-painting airplanes. "It was a great job," he said. "Then they gave me the keys to a large tanker truck and sent me to deliver gasoline to airports on the forward line. I felt like a sitting duck," he later laughed. "When the war in Europe began to slow down I was sent to the Pacific, but while the plane we were on was approaching Hawaii we got news the war had ended." He returned happily to his beloved family in Alabama and married the sister of his brother's wife, Willie Mae Wilkins, in Blakely, Georgia, in 1948. They moved to Polk County, Florida, in 1952. They had four children, two sons died before their fiftith birthday of heart attacks. His wife died in 1993 at age 67. He worked in the fruit industry until retirement. The last time I saw him he was wearing a dapper derby hat and seemed very happy. I asked him why he was so happy at age 86. He said, "Well, I reckon I'm gonna see my wife and sons again soon." He died a short time after that in his home in Lakeland, Florida. Called by his family, "Schug"; as in Sugar. Sometimes referred to as "red rooster" by his friends due to his red hair and propensity to fight at the slightest provocation. Born on a Tuesday died on a Thursday. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A newspaper article in the Elba Clipper newspaper carried this story with the headline; " JAMES BUTTS GROUP MAKES NEW RECORD" The article goes on to say; " 15th AAF in Italy___ Private James L. Butts, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gene M. Butts, Rt. 3, Elba, Alabama, who was a farmer in civilian life, is now assigned to duties with a P-51 Mustang fighter plane group in Italy which recently set a new combat record in the Mediterranean theater by destroying 102 enemy aircraft in 30 days." His obituary in the Lakeland, Florida, newspaper stated; MR. JAMES LOUIS BUTTS, 85, DIED THURSDAY (SEPT. 13, 2007). HE WAS BORN ON DECEMBER 20, 1921, IN COFFEE COUNTY, ALABAMA. HE WAS A MACHINE OPERATOR AT JUICE BOWL AND A WWII AIR FORCE VETERAN. MR. BUTTS WAS PRECEDED IN DEATH BY HIS WIFE, WILLIE MAE BUTTS. HE IS SURVIVED BY HIS SON, KENNETH BUTTS AND HIS WIFE, JANICE MYERS; DAUGHTER PEGGY GIBSON; DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW, LYDIA BUTTS, PATRICIA BUTTS; SISTER, NETTIE MAE HUDSON; 14 GRANDCHILDREN; 15 GREAT GRANDCHILDREN. VISITATION WILL BE FROM 3-5 PM SUNDAY SEPT. 23, 2007 AT LANIER FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL. SERVICES WILL BE AT 11 AM MONDAY AT LANIER FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL. INTERNMENT WILL BE IN MT. TABOR CEMETERY. He was my daddy's brother and a wonderful uncle, who was a good man and really was one of the "greatest generation!" ..Willie

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