William M. Buttner Biography-1: Overview
Lt. William M. Buttner (1923 – 1944)
William M. Buttner grew up an only child in the St. Louis, Missouri area. His parents divorced when he was 14 years old and Bill and his mother relocated to her native Twin Falls, Idaho. In 1937, Bill became a cadet at the New Mexico Military Institute, a military boarding school located in Roswell, NM. Buttner was commissioned in June 1942 as a 2nd Lt. of the Army Calvary upon graduation. In April 1943, his request to transfer to the Army Air Corps was accepted and in January 1944 he was awarded his silver wings as a pilot with the class of 44-A at Luke Field, Arizona.
Following advanced P-47 training at Harding Field, Louisiana, Buttner shipped out to England in April 1944 on the Queen Mary. After arrival, he was assigned to the 411th Fighter Squadron of the 373rd Fighter Group.
The Holux Watch Connection:
Lt. Buttner graduated from Luke Air Base AZ, Class 44-A, on January 7, 1944, as confirmed by a newspaper article in the Twin Falls ID Times - News. Class 44-A also included B.A. (Benjamin) Brew and A. (Alfred) Riha. The photos of Brew and Riha are in Luke’s 44-A SIR! class book; Buttner’s photo does not appear. Prior to his advanced training at Luke, Buttner received pilot training at Santa Ana, Oxnard, and Lemoore California – where Donald H. Kitzman was also stationed.
Upon his graduation from Luke, Buttner was sent to Harding Field, Louisiana for further training; Benjamin Brew was also stationed there.
I could not find a direct connection between Buttner, Charles Mapes, and Ben Higgins, but I presume that they all trained in California before being sent to Arizona.