Billy Joe Butler was born in Kerrville, Texas, on April 13, 1931, to Gertrude Ann (Holliman) Butler and Charles Drew Butler. Billy died for his country as a Prisoner of War at Camp Hofong North Korea, Jan 27, 1951.
Billy’s parents received a “Battle Casualty Report” on Jan 3, 1951, reporting PFC Billy Joe Butler as MIA, however, it would be Nov. 9, 1953, before Billy’s family would be notified of his death and even then, their son would not be returned home.
April 29, 2019, the U.S. Army Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory, through channels, contacted Billy’s oldest surviving family member, sister, Ellen Chipman. Billy’s remains had been identified and are being returned to his family.
Billy is currently survived by all siblings: Ellen Louise Chipman, Marion Jeff Butler and wife Doris, James Ezra Butler and wife Joan, Naaman Lee Butler and Charline Kappler.
Billy attended Tivy High School and after high school worked for a while at the Blue Bonnet Hotel. Billy was very close to our Lord and carried his Bible with him at all times. As a young man, he oftentimes found the opportunity to preach and usually had a cousin with him who would sing gospel hymns. His life goal was to become a preacher.
Billy turned 17 on April 13, 1948, and believed that when he turned 18, he would be drafted by the Army. He felt that he might as well join up and, although his parents were against it, he prevailed, and his father signed the necessary papers. On July 20, 1948, Billy became a proud Private in the U.S. Army.
Billy’s brief training was in San Antonio, Texas, and before he was shipped out to Korea, he was allowed two short leaves to see his family. That was the last they would see of their son.
He was assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Engineering Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Charlie Company advanced ahead of the main force to build bridges, allowing U.S. forces to cross, then remained behind to destroy the bridges. His unit was captured on November 28, 1950, when enemy forces attacked their defensive positions.
Corporal Billy Joe Butler has been awarded the Purple Cross, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal and Triple Bronze Star Attachment and the United Nations Service Medal.
Corporal Billy Joe Butler will receive full Military Honors as he is returned to his family and laid to rest next to his parents.
We will celebrate Billy’s return to our family at Kerrville Funeral Home, 1221 Junction Highway, Kerrville, TX 78028 on Friday, July 26, 2019, at 10 a.m., with interment following at Nichols Cemetery in Ingram.
Visitation will take place in the main chapel at Kerrville Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 25, 2019.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kerrville Funeral Home, 830-895-5111.