Butler, Varden I., TSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Technical Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Technical Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Butler, Varden I., TSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Salt Lake City
Last Address
418th Bomb Squadron
Thorpe-Abbots, United Kingdom

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot C, Row 5, Grave 22

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)100th Bombardment Group, Heavy418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 100th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Varden Ione Butler was born on August 13, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (One sources states Logan,Utah.) His parents were Rufus E. and Eliza May Clayton Butler.
The US Census 1930 has the family in Trenton, Utah while the US Census 1940 shows Salt Lake City.

Butler was drafted, and inducted into military service on October 8, 1942 at Salt Lake City. His enlistment records state he had completed 4 years of high school, and was working as a filling station attendant. He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, trained as an aerial gunner, then assigned to crew training.

This crew went overseas to England in September, 1943. Ground training and familiarization flights followed, and they were dispatched on their first combat mission  on October 2, 1943. They flew a recorded 25 missions.

On March 6, 1944, they were part of a formation to bomb electrical facilities around Berlin, Germany. Over the target, the aircraft was attacked by several German fighters. The nose was shot away, other damage was inflicted, and the navigator fell from the nose without a parachute. Survivors state Butler was killed in position, firing at the attacking aircraft.

The aircraft crashed near Haseleunne, Germany. Two additional men died in the crash, a total of four killed in action. Six were taken prisoner. No records show burial, retrieval, or movement of the dead, but TSgt Butler lies in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium in Plot C, Row 5, Grave 22.

US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records
Salt Lake City, (UT) Tribune, issue of April 23, 1944, pg 17
Utah Military Records


Sgt Varden I. Butler was acting as the ball turret gunner on B-17G #42-38059, not named, assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 3027 contains details of the downing. Crew rosters, personnel files, and memos show the crew consisted of:

Cpt David L. Miner
2 Lt George E. Kinsella  c-p
2 Lt George R. Jones  nav
2 Lt Earl L. Richardson  bomb
Sgt  Albert Zikorus eng/tt gun
Sgt  William C. Libbert  r/o
Sgt  Varden I. Butler  btg
Sgt  Sam Pry  rwg
Sgt  Leonard D. Malcuit  lwg
Sgt  June E. Roberson  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Lt Kinsella (Reilly crew) was replacing Lt D. Berthlof (original crew) who had sinusitis. Kinsella had flown 25 missions with Reilly's crew.

NOTE: Utah Military Records states Butler was awarded the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, but 100th Bomb Group records and other sources only show three.

Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011