Stephen "Steve" Butte

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Steve Butte
Butte & LAC N. Trembath (who looks like Hank Zary, CO of 403 at the time)

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Canadian Fliers Down 36 German Aircraft in Luftwaffe Attack

London, Jan. 1, 1945 - (CP) - Canadian fighter pilots, in one of their greatest triumphs during the war, destroyed at least 36 of 84 Germans shot down today by the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force.
The big Canadian score was rolled up as the German Air Force came out in its greatest show of strength for three years in an attempt to smash up Allied airfields in Belgium, Holland and France.

Five Planes Missing
Canadian fighter squadrons accounted for 35 enemy aircraft and the 36th was destroyed by a Canadian in an RAF Tempest Squadron. Five RCAF planes are missing.
Although the Huns' low-level strafings included RCAF airfields and caused some damage, the operational program of the squadrons was not interrupted and approximately 300 sorties were flown. Some enemy planes were destroyed white the airfields were under attack and others when the enemy fled for home.
The pilot of one RCAF reconnaissance squadron, whose name was not immediately disclosed, destroyed two ME190s and damaged two FW190s as he returned to base.
Spitfire fighter-bombers also were active and destroyed or damaged several locomotives and freight cars in the German supply area around St. Vith in Belgium south of Malmedy.
The Canadian Wolf Squadron alone knocked down five out of a formation of 60 enemy craft which strafed the squadron's airfield in the Brussels area. Two others probably were destroyed and another damaged in a low-level action that developed into the hottest dogfight for Canadian fighters in months.

Bags 2 Focke-Wolfs
Four RCAF Typhoons returning from a reconnaissance flight met enemy fighters and destroyed three and probably destroyed a fourth. Two were destroyed by F/O A. H. Fraser of Westmount, Que., and the other by F/O H. Laurence of Edson, Alta. All were FW190s.
A Canadian Tempest pilot, F/L J. W. Garland of Richmond, Ont., jumped two Focke Wulfs just 50 feet from the ground. He dived from 9,000 feet and destroyed both.
In the Wolf Squadron dogfight, P/Os Steve Butte of Michel, B.C., and Mac Reeves of Madoc, Ont., each downed two planes and Butte also claimed one damaged. F/Sgt. Keith Lindsay destroyed one and also had a "probable."
These were the first scores for Butte and Lindsay.
Butte and Lindsay found themselves in a swirling mass of Huns as they took off on a morning patrol. Butte sent an ME-109 down in flames with cannon fire.
Next victim was an FW-190. "There were strikes on his wing and engine, and I saw him crash on the edge of a near by town," Butte said.

Out of Ammunition
Then he hit an ME-109, seeing strikes and smoke, but losing sight of the enemy plane as it dived steeply toward the ground.
"By this time all my ammunition was gone and a Hun got on my tail," Butte continued, "I managed to get on his tail, but couldn't do anything about it."
Lindsay shot one plane down in flames and registered a cannon hit on another, but couldn't determine whether it crashed.
Reeves and his namesake, F/L Dick Reeves of 1507 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Toronto, who is no relation, plunged into a flock of enemy planes while returning from patrol. Dick Reeves had to land immediately because of a faulty motor, but Mac, his guns belching, closed on the plane which caught fire and crashed. He attacked the second victim from underneath and the pilot baled out.
It was announced tonight that the Canadian Mosquito Squadron on the Continent during Sunday night destroyed two Junkers planes while on defensive patrol.


Born in Waugh, Alberta, 7 November 1923
Enlisted in Calgary, 9 January 1942
Trained at
No.5 ITS (graduated 20 June 1942)
No.13 EFTS (graduated 10 October 1942) &
No.1 SFTS (graduated 5 March 1943 & winged that day)
Arrived in UK, 4 April 1943
Further training at
No.17 (P) AFU  (posted there 27 May 1943) &
No.53 OTU (posted there 13 July to 31 December 1943)
Station Grangemouth (31 December 1943 to 12 May 1944)
Station Redhill (12 May 1944)
With No.403 Squadron, 10 June 1944 to 18 March 1945
Repatriated to Canada 3 December 1945
Released 17 January 1946
Award presented at Sea Island, 22 October 1949


Canadian Fighter Pilots Get Biggest Bag of Huns

London, Jan 2 1945 (CP) - Canadian fighter pilots accounted for at least half of the 94 German plane destroyed by the RAF's 2nd Tactical Air Force New Year's Day when the Luftwaffe made an attempt to cripple west front airfield operations.
A compilation tonight, based on the latest reports received from the Continent, showed that RCAF fighters in their biggest day of the war destroyed at least 36 enemy aircraft and half-a-dozen others fell to Canadian sharpshooters in RAF Squadrons.
The top scoring wing in the 2nd Tactical Air Force during the day of close to 100 "kills" was the Canadian Spitfire unit which brought down 24 German machines, probably destroyed another three and damaged seven. An untold number of probables and damaged planes were claimed by other Canadians.
The wing’s scorers included two airmen who downed three planes apiece, both from the Ram Squadron. F/O G. D. Cameron of Toronto destroyed a trio of ME-109s while F/L John Mackay of Cloverdale, B.C., destroyed two ME-109s and an FW-190. Mackay got the last two without using his guns because they dived into the ground when he chased them.
F/L D. Pieri of Toronto and Elmhurst, Ill., destroyed two FW-190s and probably destroyed two others.
F/L Dick Audet of Lethbridge, Alta., who last Friday shot down five enemy planes in little more than five minutes, brought his total to seven with two FW-190s bagged as they roared low over his field. Friday's quintet were the first aircraft the 22 year-old Lethbridge airman had downed.
Others from the Canadian wing, who helped to set up the day's record - the previous top mark for the Canadians in a single day was 22 planes - included S/L Dean Dover, DFC, and Bar, of Toronto, who destroyed an ME-109 and shared another with F/O Dean Kelly of Peterborough, Ont. and F/L Donald Gordon of Vancouver with two ME-109's.
Double scorers included F/L J. W. Garland, Richmond, Ont.; P/O Steve Butte, Michel, B.C.; P/O Mac Reeves, Madoc, Ont. and F/O A. H. Fraser, Westmount, Que.
Single scorers included F/L W. Banks, Toronto; F/L B. MacPherson, St. Thomas, Ont.; F/L Basil Doak, Cowansville, Que.; F/O Vic Smith, Toronto; F/O J. C. Lee, Ottawa; P/O D. M. Horsburgh, Carnduff, Sask.; F/L N. Keene, White Lake, B.C.; F/O H. Laurence, Edson, Alta. and F/Sgt Keith Lindsay, 10764 95th St. Edmonton. Lindsay also claimed one probable.
Operations today were restricted by weather but 90 sorties were flown and all aircraft returned. Two locomotives were destroyed and four others damaged in the Cologne area by Spitfire fighter-bombers.


BUTTE, P/O Steve (J85829) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.403 Squadron
Award effective 6 March 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 625/45 dated 13 April 1945.

One morning early in January 1945, Pilot Officer Butte was detailed to fly the leading aircraft of a section on a sortie over the battle zone. Just as the formation became airborne a large force of enemy fighters attacked the airfield. Pilot Officer Butte immediately engaged one of the enemy aircraft, shooting it down. A second and yet a third attacker fell to his guns before his ammunition was expended. He was himself then attacked by two fighters but outmaneouvred them. In this engagement against a vastly superior number of enemy aircraft Pilot Officer Butte displayed great skill, bravery and tenacity.


Victories Include :

1 Jan 1945 * two Me109s
one FW190

3 / 0 / 0

Steve also assisted Andy MacKenzie on 3 of his kills & helped with an Me262 on Christmas day 1944. As well as, "dozens of trucks, trains, tankers, tanks, including cleanup at Falaise"

* - Operation Bodenplatte



The wreckage of Fridolin Bachhuber's FW190. Bachhuber lead 4/JG54 during Operation Bodenplatte. His was one of the three planes that Butte shot down that day. Part of the fuselage can be seen in the foreground and in the background can be seen the flat that Bachhuber's FW flew/fell through.
(Thanks to Philippe for the photo)

Fridolin Bachhuber's wrecked FW190


See also  Steve Butte




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