Branch: Air Force ** Served In: WWII, Korea, Vietnam
Heber M. Butler joined the Army Air Corps right out of high school. He was sent to North Africa in 1943 in a group of 24 replacement pilots. Only eight returned home. He flew 64 combat missions from North Africa in twin-engine P-38 Lightning fighters. After the war, he joined the Air Force Reserve. When the Korean War erupted, Butler was called to active duty. He flew 35 combat missions in an F-86 jet fighter against Soviet-built MIGs, the first time in history jets fought jets. Later in Japan he flew newly repaired planes to test their airworthiness. He also flew a combat mission as well as transport flights during the Vietnam War. Butler’s military career spanned 33 years.