nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

2nd Lt. Wallace S. Butler Jr. - Fallen

Navy Cross
Grand Forks, ND
Korea - Fallen
Date of Loss: April 19, 1953 / Age: 22
Branch of Service: Marines
Company/Division: A Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Wallace S. Butler, Jr. (MCSN: 0-56596), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Commander of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on 8 April 1953. Shortly after midnight, Second Lieutenant Butler led a small rescue force through devastating enemy fire and extreme darkness to an area where a friendly patrol had become separated and had sustained numerous casualties in a raid against an enemy hill position. After discovering that two wounded Marines were still in the objective area, he gallantly advanced up the hill and returned with both men. Observing that enemy patrols were maneuvering in the immediate vicinity in search of prisoners, Second Lieutenant Butler left his only weapon with the defenseless men and dauntlessly raced approximately three hundred yards to a friendly outpost and, securing the aid of stretcher bearers, returned to direct the evacuation of the casualties. Throughout the remaining hours of darkness, he diligently searched the entire area to locate small groups of the more seriously wounded. By his exceptional courage, leadership and outstanding loyalty to his comrades in the face of heavy odds, Second Lieutenant Butler was largely responsible for the successful evacuation of casualties and served to inspire all who observed him, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.