John Clarence Butler

Military Person

1921 – 1942


Who was John Clarence Butler?

John Clarence Butler was a United States Navy officer and Naval aviator who was killed in action in the World War II Battle of Midway. He was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

Butler was born at Liberty, Arizona, 2 February 1921, and enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve 19 February 1941. He was appointed an Aviation Cadet on 3 April; and, after flight training, he reported to Bombing Squadron 3 on board aircraft carrier Yorktown.

In the epochal Battle of Midway 4 June 1942, Butler and his squadron attacked a Japanese carrier group and despite heavy opposition succeeded in sinking three of the vital enemy flattops. His plane, however, did not return.

For his part in this gallant attack, which did much to turn the tide of the Pacific War, Ens. Butler was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously. In part the citation noted: "His gallant intrepidity and loyal devotion to the accomplishment of a vastly important objective contributed in large measure to the success achieved by our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

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Feb 2, 1921
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Arizona
Jun 4, 1942

on July 23, 2013


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