30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Duane A. Buttell
14 July 1966 MiG-21 Destroyed by Duane’s aircraft…F-4C (63-7489)
Two MIG-21’s were destroyed on 14 July by F-4C aircrews of the 480th TFS. Capt. William J. Swendner and 1st Lt. Duane A. Buttell, Jr. flew the lead Phantom, and 1st Lts. Ronald G. Martin and Richard N. Krieps the number 2 aircraft. They were part of a flight of four F-4s providing MIG cover for an Iron Hand flight of three F-105’s. (1)
Credited with the first kill today was Ist Lt. Duane A. Buttell, 25, of Chillicothe. 111., and Capt. William J. Swender, 31 of Alamogordo, N.M. The second MIG21 was hit by Lt. Ronald G. Martin, 26, of Lake Villa, 111., and Ist Lt. Richard N. Krieps, 24, of Chesterton, Ind. “The MIG looked like a big red barn door,” said Buttell. “We shot him down with our first missile.” No American planes were lost in any of the dogfights but the air war was “heating up,” a spokesman in Saigon said. U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots flew 85 missions over the north Wednesday, concentrating on targets near Hanoi, the key port of Haiphong and along the southern panhandle on the coast, through which Communist supplies flow into South Viet Nam. (2)