Co. E, 60th Infantry
9th Infantry Division
Normandy, France,
14 – 23 June 1944


butts.jpg2Lt Butts was leading his men in Normandy when he was wounded on the 14th near Orglandes, but he refused evacuation.

On the 16th he was spearheading an attack to establish a bridgehead across the Douve River.  Wounded a second time, he again refused evacuation and remained with his men.

Seven days later, he led an assault on a tactically important and heavily defended hill near Flottemanville Hague.

The objective was defended by tanks, antitank guns, pillboxes, and machinegun emplacements, and could call in concentrated artillery and mortar fire.

Butts was again leading his men from the front when he was critically wounded by German machinegun fire.

In spite of his new wounds, he rallied his men and directed a squad to make a flanking movement while he personally made a frontal assault, drawing hostile fire on himself.

Wounded a fourth time, the young Officer dug down deep and by sheer courage and determination, he was able to crawl toward the enemy who concentrated fire on him rather than the flanking squad.

He was less than 10 meters from the enemy when he was killed by a burst of enemy fire, but the h=enemy had focused on him and not noticed the squad flanking them. Lt. Buut’ diversion made it possible for his men to take the objective.

The last line of John E. Butts’ Medal of Honor citation reads as follows:

“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.”


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