|Cpl. Bertram Butz, 7th Armored Division.|
Bertram S. Butz never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 2, 1917 in Illinois. His parents were also both born in Illinois. His father worked as farmer. Bertram was the thirteenth and final child in the family. He had seven older brothers and five older sisters. In 1920 the Butz children ranged from age 26 to age 2. By 1940 Bertram had a grammar school level education and worked on the family farm.
|Cpl. Butz and his family in 1942.|
On January 26, 1942, just weeks after Pearl Harbor, Bertram left the farm and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He became a Tech 5 in the Headquarters Company, 17th Tank Battalion, 7th Armored Division ("Lucky Seventh") where he served as a tank driver.
Assigned to the front lines in Holland after Operation Market Garden, the 7th Armored Division was spread out thin on October 27, 1944 when it was attacked by two German divisions. The Americans were outnumbered but they benefited from better quality troops and leadership. The 7th AD was able to turn back the German attack. The success came at a high cost -- the Lucky Seventh lost 83 men in the span of the three day battle. Cpl. Butz was killed in action on October 28, 1944 near Neerkant, Holland.
His grave can be found at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery in Belleville, Illinois.
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