BUTCHER, JACK M. Name: Jack M. Butcher Rank/Branch: O2/United States Air Force Unit: 20th TASS Date of Birth: 12 April 1946 Home City of Record: Ann Arbor MI Date of Loss: 24 March 1971 Country of Loss: Laos/North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 155100 North 1064100 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OV10A Missions: 11 Other Personnel in Incident: none Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: 730328 RELEASED BY PL
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO JACK M. BUTCHER Captain - United States Air Force Shot Down: March 24, 1971 Released: March 28, 1973 "On my eleventh combat mission over Laos on 24 March 1971, I was shot down. I was injured in the explosion of the aircraft but managed to eject. Very soon after landing on the ground I was captured and was detained in a small camp in Laos for six weeks. While in this camp I managed to escape once, but was re-captured after only a few hours. While in this camp, I also received medical attention and regained my health for the trip by foot to Hanoi. During the trip to Hanoi, I escaped again. This time I evaded for ten days. I survived by eating some fruit, ants and grasshoppers. I attempted to make signals in an effort to be rescued. However, on the tenth day, I accidentally ran into the enemy and was re-captured again. After some rest, I was again moved toward Hanoi. During the first week of June 1971 I arrived in Hanoi and was joined with a small group of men captured in Laos and remained with them in Hanoi until 28 March 1973 when we were released. Three days later I was reunited with my wife, Dawn, at Wright Patterson AFB." Although he ejected from a flaming aircraft and received severe shrapnel wounds in both legs, and although he was imprisoned from March 27, 1971 to March 28, 1973, Captain Butcher considers himself "lucky." "I was captured after the bad times," he says, referring to the period from 1965 to 1969 when the POWs were tortured. "I was not beaten. I was not mistreated." He was graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering and a commission in the Air Force through ROTC. He had become interested in aeronautical engineering and flying after joining ROTC, and after graduating he received his wings at Webb AFB, Big Spring, Texas. After six months of training in the OV-10 forward air controlling aircraft, he volunteered for duty in Vietnam so, as he says, he could be "close to what was happening." He was sent to DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam. He plans to spend three months in the Air Force Pilot Upgrading School where he will be refamiliarized with flying. After nine additional months training on the F-106 plane, he plans to spend an additional two year tour with the Air Force. Captain Butcher has these thoughts to share about America: "American POWs, in serving the way they did, helped to preserve the freedom in this country necessary to correct its faults and mistakes. "I learned a lot in prison camp. I learned what a great country this is. It was a daily challenge to stick up for it and to love it. And that love grows and grows." ------------------------------------- Jack Butcher retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel. He and his wife Dawn reside in Washington State.