28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Dean W. Radueg
A lot of us know Henry Buttelmann. (Vince Cattolica did a nice article on him for The Intake, Fall 2019). He was my Squadron Commander in the 308 TFS in 1970. Buttelmann and I ended up on alert together one day, and true to his competitive nature he said, “Dean when we get scrambled, first one to the arming area leads the mission.”
True to my competitive nature, I was determined to beat him to the taxiway. I was first to the aircraft which encouraged me all the more. I pulled out of the revetment with a little more than usual power (pretty close to MIL), and as I turned and looked back, the first thing I saw was the pages of the 781 flying 50 plus feet in the air, and the next thing I saw was the crew chief plastered against the back of the revetment.
Buttelmann still beat me to the arming area, and I can’t say I remember much about the mission. When we got back to debrief, the Chief of Maintenance was there and said, “Lieutenant, I think you owe your crew chief an apology, and here’s the 781 for you to put back together”. And what did Buttelmann do? He didn’t say a word. He just smiled at me through the debrief, and then rose and said “See ‘ya later”, as I spent the next 30 minutes putting the 781 back together. I flew with him at least a few more times, and it was always exciting.
After 28 years in the USAF, my wife Cathy and I settled in Breckenridge, Colorado. I had always wanted to live in the mountains near a ski area. But I kept failing retirement.
I was a Property Manager at Keystone Ski Resort for a while. Then I started my own business installing countertops and cabinets. I was also an instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort for 7 years.
I terminated my business and became the Manager at the Breckenridge Recreation Center. Then I started another business doing home inspections.
We moved to the Front Range (Thornton, CO) in 2006 and I finally fully retired in 2013.
Cathy and I are staying plenty busy now – skiing, golf, travel, music (I’m in two community choirs and directing our local choir), and spending as much time as we can with the grandkids.