“The key to a fighter pilot’s success is that there has to be “no second thought when you see an enemy plane, and you’ve got to immediately engage.”
Korean War ace Lieutenant Henry Buttelman was born in Corona, New York on June 26, 1929. After serving two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and two years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he entered the Air Force pilot training program of class 52-E and graduated as a second lieutenant on Aug. 2, 1952.
After completing three months of advanced gunnery training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, he was shipped out to Korea in December 1952 to serve with the 25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, equipped with the F-86 Sabrejet. The Korean War was winding down and on June 19th on his 55th combat mission and his first mission as an element leader he scored his first aerial victory — a MIG -15.
Eleven days later, however, he became the youngest Korean ace at age 24 when he downed his fifth MIG on June 30th. He shot down two more in July to bring his total to seven, just before the cessation of hostilities on July 27, 1953. He logged 65 combat missions during this tour.
Following the outbreak of the Vietnam War, Major Buttelmann left McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas in April 1965 for four months of temporary duty at Takhli Air Base Thailand where he flew 46 combat missions in the F-105 with the 562nd Tactical Fighter Squadron. He returned for a second tour of duty in May 1969 to fly the F-100s as commander of the Misty Forward Air Controllers and the 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He logged 232 combat missions in his 12-month tour.
Lt. Col. Buttelmann retired from active duty in Oct. 1979 with 27 years of active duty. (1)
For more on Hank Buttelmann see: http://wingsmuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Lt.Col_.-Henry-Buttelmann.pdf