Gale W Butcher, Jr

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
14 February 1949 - 08 January 1970
Hayward, California
Panel 14W Line 011

Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Gale W Butcher

The database page for Gale W Butcher, Jr

31 Aug 2003

Thank you, Gale. Thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice so that all of us could live free. I never had the honor of meeting my cousin Gale, and I am sorry for that. He is a constant reminder to me of my Army values: duty, honor, respect, selfless service, courage, and integrity. You are missed dearly.

May your soul rest in peace,

Tabatha Anadon
Specialist, US Army

11 Nov 2006

Memories of some really good guys.

Ken Kleppin was the first guy I met in the 114th. He and Cosner were the unit's unofficial 'greeters' for the White Knights. Ken was a super guy, real easy going and a hell of a Crewchief. He prided himself in having the best ship in the platoon. Ken and his ship always got the long swings and he never shied away from them - he never shied away from any job.

Jesse Sines and Bob Babcock flew as gunners for Ken before Billy came along. Ken would sometimes fill in as a gunner for other ships when a guy was sick or needed a day 'down'. Ken was always there for you - I can give no higher praise.

Ken and Billy were getting pretty short when we lost them. Billy Barnes was a quiet unassuming guy who just wanted to fit in. His proudest moment was when he became a gunner for us in the White Knights - he couldn't stop smiling that day he joined us.

Unfortunately I didn't know Mr. Butcher as he was pretty new. Mr Brown was our first black pilot. Everyone liked him as he was pretty easy going and a pretty fair pilot, but when you were flying with him you knew he was in charge. He broke in a lot of new pilots - a testament to both his flying skills and people skills.

God Bless you guys - You are always with us!
Knight 771 - White Knight Lead

From a 114th AHC brother in arms,
Steve Walbridge

01 Jan 2007

Gale, John Stevens and I went to flight school together. We flew to Nam together and we were assigned to the 114th together. Gale was a good friend and has been deeply missed. His death at the very beginning of his tour was a shock from which I have never fully recovered.

Gale, I have thought of you often. My prayers have been with you throughout the ensuing years.

Should any of his family wish to contact me, they may.

From a friend,
Frank J. Strobel
629 Brown Avenue, Erie, Pa. 16502-2530

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The 114th Air Mobile Company was assigned to the US Army Support Group, Vietnam, and officially arrived at Vinh Long, Republic of South Vietnam on 10 May 1963. The unit was redesignated on 04 Jun 1964 as the 114th Avn Co (Air Mobile Light), and on 2 July 1966 its designation was changed again to the 114th Assault Helicopter Company. When it departed Vietnam on 29 Feb 1972, the 114th AHC had spent almost 9 years in the combat zone.

During that time the 114th lost 70 men, some to accidents, some to illness, and some to enemy action. On 08 January 1970 four men of the 114th Assault Helicopter Company died when their UH-1H (tail number 66-16871) was shot down:

  • CW2 Steven Merle Brown, aircraft commander
  • WO1 Gale W. Butcher, Jr, copilot
  • SP5 Kenneth Thomas Kleppin, crew chief
  • SP4 William Edward Barnes, gunner
The men of the 114th AHC remember their dead, though; they have placed a red granite memorial alongside one of the helicopters they flew in Vietnam in the Georgia Veterans’ Memorial State Park, Cordele, Georgia.

114th AHC
114th Aslt Helo Co

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a cousin,
Tabatha Anadon

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 Aug 2003
Last updated 04/14/2007