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187th Engineer Combat Battalion-Another Soldier moves On-Truett Butler

187th Engineer Combat Battalion-Another Soldier moves On-Truett Butler
Charles C Wilson Top Left-Truett Butler far right, Peewee is bottom middle

Please Note in the photo below the 3 Bronze Stars awarded to this individual. Mr. James Truett Butler was also one of my dad's best friends during his time in the 187th ECB. David Butler contacted me and provided a Photo of my Dad sitting on a German 109 fighter plane. My father talked about finding some German planes in a forest. But at that time, I could not connect the story. Now I can! I feel very lucky I received this photo of my Dad. One of my Treasures in life!

 James Truett Butler

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James Truett Butler

RICHLAND - Truett Butler, 65, died Monday at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson. Services are at 4 p.m. today at Baldwin-Enochs Funeral Home chapel with burial and Masonic rites at Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

A native of Mendenhall, Mr. Butler had lived in Richland for 35 years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Richland. He worked at Colonial Bakery and was the financial secretary for the bakery's union. He was a 32nd-degree Mason member of the Masonic Plain Lodge No. 622, Shriners, Scottish Rites, and the Exchange Club.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Vera Butler, daughter, Mrs. Bonnie Butler Harris of Florence, sons, Jimmy Butler of Jackson and David Butler of Richland, sisters, Mrs. Billie Read Blackwell, Mrs. Alta Blair, and Mrs. Bobbie May, all of Richland, brother, Quinton Butler of Yazoo City, and eight grandchildren.

The Story

            James Truett Butler was born on September 27, 1919, in Mendenhall, MS to Quitman Thomas Butler and Nancy Love Deann Roberts Butler. He was the second in a family that would grow to four girls and four boys. In the throes of the Great Depression, it became very hard to feed, clothe, and shelter a family of 10.  So, at the young age of 17, in July of 1936, he left his home and family and enrolled in the FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps. For the next 3 years, he assisted in the construction and upkeep of the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS.

            Approximately one month before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Truett was inducted into the Army at Camp Shelby, MS in November of 1941. The following month, he was sent to Camp Chaffee in Ft. Smith, AR. There, at a USO dance, while jitterbugging to Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys, he would meet the love of his life, Vera Jean Avery. After about a year of training in the Mojave Desert in California, he returned to Ft. Smith where he married Vera Jean in January of 1943. In the fall of 1943, the two found themselves stationed at Camp White near Medford, OR. The Army would continue to prepare him for his inevitable deployment to the European campaign. In December of 1943, Vera Jean gave birth to their first child, James Truett Butler, Jr.

            In 1944, the Army sent him and his brothers of the 187th Engineer Combat Battalion to Camp Pickett, VA for their final preparation. In September of 1944, Truett was granted a brief furlough to visit his family back in Mendenhall, MS, along with Vera Jean and 9-month-old Jimmy, before going overseas. In October of 1944, he and his battalion arrived at Ft. Slocum in New Rochelle, NY, where they would board the “Saturnia”. On October 22, 1944, the Saturnia weighed anchor with approximately 1,200 souls bound for World War II. After 12 days at sea, they docked in Southampton, England on November 2, 1944. For the next year, Staff Sergeant, James Truett Butler and the 187th fought their way across France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, to bring an end to Hitler and his Nazi regime.

            Truett would, once again, set foot on American soil on November 14, 1945. He moved his family from Arkansas, back to Mississippi where he would live for the remainder of his life. They settled in Richland, MS, formerly known as Plain. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Richland. He worked at Colonial Bakery in Jackson, MS, where he was the financial secretary for the bakery’s union. He was a 32nd-degree Mason and an officer of the Plain Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Richland Exchange Club. Shortly after his death, the Exchange Club erected and dedicated a flag pole to him for his service to the club and the community.

            He and Vera Jean would have two more children, Bonnie Ann Butler Harris and William David Butler. He passed away on June 10, 1985, and was buried in the rolling hills of his childhood in Poplar Springs, MS.

Mr. & Mrs. Butler and Family after the War
One of the many American Family's

Seeking photos and information for the 187th ECB. I will purchase Battalion photos of the 187th Engineer Combat Battalion (H&S, A, B, and C Companies)

Come on people, pitch in, I'm right behind you!

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