PFC Fred Butler, III
Here's the information I've been able to compile thus far. Note that anything that is either speculative or not properly sourced will be in italics.
PFC Butler, USMC was a Rifleman (later Radio Operator and then Machine-Gunner) attached to Alfa Co. 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Amphibious Forces. The 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment would ultimately be given the moniker "The Walking Dead", having sustained more casualties than any other Marine Unit in Vietnam.
Fred was a 1968 graduate of Miami Springs High, and enlisted in the Marines in September 1968. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Butler, Jr. of 212 Flagler Drive in Miami Springs, and he left four siblings, Ralph, Kenneth, Alice, and Vicki.
I don't have any birth records for PFC Butler, but gather from his grave marker that he is from Pennsylvania.
Fred arrived in Southeast Asia on November 15, 1968 to begin his tour of duty.
Fred's unit, A co. 1/9 Marines, took part in Operation Dewey Canyon, the final Marine offensive of the Vietnam War. On the morning of February 22, 1969 he was "on point", as the lead rifleman in his company when it came under attack by NVA soldiers in two fortified bunkers ahead. Fred was hit by rifle fire and killed instantly. He was 20 years old.
As indicated on the Dewey Canyon battle map, his unit "1/9" (for 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment) fought in Quang Tri Province near the Laotian border (some reports suggest possibly even inside Laos briefly), and just North of the A Shau Valley.
From Michael Conroy's book, Don't Tell America, p.320: "The Actions of Alfa Company on February 22nd are now recognized as the critical and decisive engagement that collapsed the NVA main line of resistance to its critical supply route from Laos. It permitted the 9th Regiment access to and capture/destruction of the largest cache of enemy weaponry and ordnance ever captured in the Vietnam War."
As a consequence of this, the 9th Marine Regiment was later recognized with the (Army) Presidential Unit Citation for their actions, and Fred's Company Commander A co. 1/9, 1Lt. Wesley L. Fox was subsequently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day by President Richard Nixon.
Fred is buried at Vista Memorial Gardens in Miami Lakes, and is honored on the National Vietnam Memorial, at Panel 32W, Row 076.
If you have photos, memorabilia, or further information regarding Fred's life and his service, please let me know, you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just because you do not take an interest in politics, does not mean that politics won't take an interest in you.
- Source unverified, but attributed *all over the internet* to the Greek philosopher Pericles...which merely underscores the hazards of copying someone else's research instead of looking it up for yourself.