Gregory Joseph Butler


 

Preferred Name: Greg

Nickname/Call Sign: Sleepy

Date of Birth: April 4, 1936

Highest Military Grade Held: Lt. Colonel (05)

Hometown: Hamden, CT

Biography

Up, Up, Up and Away by Greg Butler

Up, Up, Up, and Away

That’s what Superman used to say

As he prepared to soar on high

And pass from view across the sky

Well I tried that in my youth

The result was a fall, and a broken tooth

So then I joined the Air Force Cadet Corps

And became a fighter pilot . . . but of course

As a teen I fell in love with the Super Saber’s artistic intake

Copied and admired it in a clay model of a sleek sports car I did make

Then I set the car on the shelf thinking “I guess that’s it for me”

Never dreaming that for twelve years my chinning bar the intake would be

My first gig was in the 461st Deadly Jesters at Hahn, in the ADIZ chasing Migs

Then off to the 53rd Tigers at Ramstein for boring Victor, but much much nicer digs

Twas there on Old 950 I first put my name

No one else would take her due to her very negative fame

For twenty one years I zoomed and thundered

In F-84F, A-7D, and mostly F-one-hundred

From Cannon sat Victor Alert with the big bomb

Skipped, dived and strafed in Vietnam

Twas there I jumped from my flaming steed

They called it ground fire but I know it was a hot air bleed

You know, North American built 2300 of the Hun

Well my Guard wingman that night was in just one . . . My Old 950 (Very small world)

After some ten of those Air Force years I finally got lonely

Then found and married Sweet Lorraine, who sure is a honey

Details of our courtship makes for big laughs at a party

Raised three great kids named Bill, Kristi and Scotty

Spent several years at Luke and D M teaching new guys

How to ply fighter tactics up in the Arizona skies

And in the process, got wrapped up in a thing called I S D

If you really want to know more about that you’ll just have to ask me

But when to a Langley desk they did assign me

I thought to myself, how can this be?

The world’s Greatest Fighter Pilot not up in the sky

So at 21 years I turned in my chute and to the Air Force said good-bye

For the next twenty-some years I did training design

For the Air Force and Navy in a favorite place of mine

That would be San Diego where the sun will usually shine

Worked for Logicon and Northrop, the employers of mine

But before very long I said to myself . . . self

Do you really want to just sit here on the shelf?

Or would you rather soar high again?

To which I replied YES, but how and when?

Then I heard of a guy named VanGrunsven

Who made airplane kits that many were using

So my garage soon became an airplane factory

With much drilling and riveting and other racketry

In a mere eight years my first takeoff was rolling

Up, up, up, and away o’r the clouds I was going

You could hear me exclaim as I roared out of sight

Loops, rolls and spins in the New 950 are sure a delight

So now when terra firma gets boring

To the sky I return, and in 950 go soaring

And when comes the day a medical certificate I can’t rate

I can look back and say . . . . Thank You God . . . . It’s sure been great

Survival Under Fire

Greg Butler tells “a tale of survival under fire and the loyalty of a venerable craft to its former master. Long ago and far away at a base in Germany Greg [Butler] placed his name on an F100 that had had a treacherous reputation. Greg tamed the craft and flew it successfully and moved on.

Years later in Viet Nam Greg found himself in another F100 that had been disabled either by a mechanical malfunction or by enemy ground fire. Another F100 moved in and circled Greg’s crippled plane to assess the damage and provide protective cover. As Greg pulled the ejection trigger, he noticed the number 950 on the tail of the circling plane. It was his old steed from Germany. The protective cover was successful and Greg was recovered from the battlefield to fight another day. – From the EAA Chapter 286 N. San Diego County, August 2012

Here’s the story… “F-100 Pilot, Greg Butler did not hesitate.  “I immediately blew the canopy and was ejected,” he said.  “I started tumbling until the parachute opened and then had a normal descent.”

Several Army helicopter gunships, operating north of the base, quickly diverted to fly cover for the downed pilot. While Major Butler was ejecting, the two Huskie helicopters at Phan Rang were being scrambled for the rescue.

One helicopter was airborne in seconds with Maj. William C. Emrie, Florissant, MO. and Maj. Donald R. Brooks, Colorado Springs, CO, in the cockpitSgt. Richard L. McNeese, Slidell, La., was the flight engineer.  “As we arrived at the scene, the pilot on the ground fired a flare,” said Major Emrie. “We just went into his exact location and made the pick-up.”

“When we got over the man on the ground,” Major Emrie continued, “Sergeant McNeese threaded the forest penetrator hoist through the jungle canopy and made the pick-up.” On the ground Major Butler became concerned when at first he couldn’t locate the three-pronged anchorlike penetrator in the dense jungle.

Then, it landed right at his feet.

SSgt. Angel Luna, Midwest City, Okla., was the medical technician on board the helicopter. Sergeant Luna said, “I gave him a quick check when we got him into the helicopter, and, except for a slight cut on his nose and forehead, he seemed to be in fine shape.”

During their return to Phan Rang, red streaks from enemy tracer rounds went flying past the plexiglass of the canopy. An AC47 Dragonship, assigned to Flight B,  3rd Air Commando  Squadron, used its rapid-firing mini-guns to suppress the ground fire.

When the rescue helicopter landed at Phan Rang it was met by medical personnel who immediately checked Major Butler and pronounced him in good shape.” – Article from Phan Rang AB Happy Valley News..1968

Units Assigned

  • 461 TFS
  • 53TFS
  • 430TFS
  • 478TFS
  • 4515TFTS
  • 4516TFTS
  • 310TFTS
  • TAC DOXS

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

1968  F-100’s

Military Education

Civilian Education

Biography

Biography

Up, Up, Up and Away by Greg Butler

Up, Up, Up, and Away

That’s what Superman used to say

As he prepared to soar on high

And pass from view across the sky

Well I tried that in my youth

The result was a fall, and a broken tooth

So then I joined the Air Force Cadet Corps

And became a fighter pilot . . . but of course

As a teen I fell in love with the Super Saber’s artistic intake

Copied and admired it in a clay model of a sleek sports car I did make

Then I set the car on the shelf thinking “I guess that’s it for me”

Never dreaming that for twelve years my chinning bar the intake would be

My first gig was in the 461st Deadly Jesters at Hahn, in the ADIZ chasing Migs

Then off to the 53rd Tigers at Ramstein for boring Victor, but much much nicer digs

Twas there on Old 950 I first put my name

No one else would take her due to her very negative fame

For twenty one years I zoomed and thundered

In F-84F, A-7D, and mostly F-one-hundred

From Cannon sat Victor Alert with the big bomb

Skipped, dived and strafed in Vietnam

Twas there I jumped from my flaming steed

They called it ground fire but I know it was a hot air bleed

You know, North American built 2300 of the Hun

Well my Guard wingman that night was in just one . . . My Old 950 (Very small world)

After some ten of those Air Force years I finally got lonely

Then found and married Sweet Lorraine, who sure is a honey

Details of our courtship makes for big laughs at a party

Raised three great kids named Bill, Kristi and Scotty

Spent several years at Luke and D M teaching new guys

How to ply fighter tactics up in the Arizona skies

And in the process, got wrapped up in a thing called I S D

If you really want to know more about that you’ll just have to ask me

But when to a Langley desk they did assign me

I thought to myself, how can this be?

The world’s Greatest Fighter Pilot not up in the sky

So at 21 years I turned in my chute and to the Air Force said good-bye

For the next twenty-some years I did training design

For the Air Force and Navy in a favorite place of mine

That would be San Diego where the sun will usually shine

Worked for Logicon and Northrop, the employers of mine

But before very long I said to myself . . . self

Do you really want to just sit here on the shelf?

Or would you rather soar high again?

To which I replied YES, but how and when?

Then I heard of a guy named VanGrunsven

Who made airplane kits that many were using

So my garage soon became an airplane factory

With much drilling and riveting and other racketry

In a mere eight years my first takeoff was rolling

Up, up, up, and away o’r the clouds I was going

You could hear me exclaim as I roared out of sight

Loops, rolls and spins in the New 950 are sure a delight

So now when terra firma gets boring

To the sky I return, and in 950 go soaring

And when comes the day a medical certificate I can’t rate

I can look back and say . . . . Thank You God . . . . It’s sure been great

Survival Under Fire

Greg Butler tells “a tale of survival under fire and the loyalty of a venerable craft to its former master. Long ago and far away at a base in Germany Greg [Butler] placed his name on an F100 that had had a treacherous reputation. Greg tamed the craft and flew it successfully and moved on.

Years later in Viet Nam Greg found himself in another F100 that had been disabled either by a mechanical malfunction or by enemy ground fire. Another F100 moved in and circled Greg’s crippled plane to assess the damage and provide protective cover. As Greg pulled the ejection trigger, he noticed the number 950 on the tail of the circling plane. It was his old steed from Germany. The protective cover was successful and Greg was recovered from the battlefield to fight another day. – From the EAA Chapter 286 N. San Diego County, August 2012

Here’s the story… “F-100 Pilot, Greg Butler did not hesitate.  “I immediately blew the canopy and was ejected,” he said.  “I started tumbling until the parachute opened and then had a normal descent.”

Several Army helicopter gunships, operating north of the base, quickly diverted to fly cover for the downed pilot. While Major Butler was ejecting, the two Huskie helicopters at Phan Rang were being scrambled for the rescue.

One helicopter was airborne in seconds with Maj. William C. Emrie, Florissant, MO. and Maj. Donald R. Brooks, Colorado Springs, CO, in the cockpitSgt. Richard L. McNeese, Slidell, La., was the flight engineer.  “As we arrived at the scene, the pilot on the ground fired a flare,” said Major Emrie. “We just went into his exact location and made the pick-up.”

“When we got over the man on the ground,” Major Emrie continued, “Sergeant McNeese threaded the forest penetrator hoist through the jungle canopy and made the pick-up.” On the ground Major Butler became concerned when at first he couldn’t locate the three-pronged anchorlike penetrator in the dense jungle.

Then, it landed right at his feet.

SSgt. Angel Luna, Midwest City, Okla., was the medical technician on board the helicopter. Sergeant Luna said, “I gave him a quick check when we got him into the helicopter, and, except for a slight cut on his nose and forehead, he seemed to be in fine shape.”

During their return to Phan Rang, red streaks from enemy tracer rounds went flying past the plexiglass of the canopy. An AC47 Dragonship, assigned to Flight B,  3rd Air Commando  Squadron, used its rapid-firing mini-guns to suppress the ground fire.

When the rescue helicopter landed at Phan Rang it was met by medical personnel who immediately checked Major Butler and pronounced him in good shape.” – Article from Phan Rang AB Happy Valley News..1968

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 461 TFS
  • 53TFS
  • 430TFS
  • 478TFS
  • 4515TFTS
  • 4516TFTS
  • 310TFTS
  • TAC DOXS

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

1968  F-100’s

Military Education

Civilian Education

Images