Class of 1951 Summer 2020 Class Note

Frances Pratt Caswell

From the Kennebec Journal we learn that fraternal twins, Richard and Robert Butler, were honored on
Veterans Day 2019 by Winthrop American Legion Post 40 with other members of the Post for their service in WWII. The twins live in Zephyrhills, FL, and were not able to attend the meeting. Dick and Bob enlisted in the military in the steps of their father, who was a WWI veteran. They tried to stay together because they were twins. After being issued dog tags, the pair pretended they had lost their tags. They were issued two more. “What they did not realize,” said Bob, “was that we were going to use those to stay together.” They were stationed in the northern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines and were responsible for providing communication between forces on the ground and in the air for two and a half years as the US was getting ready to invade Japan.

After the peace treaty was signed, Dick and Bob became part of the occupation force in Japan. Flying into Tokyo in a C-47 transport plane, they were able to see the devastation of the atomic bombs. “Everything was demolished,” Bob said. ”We could see everything burned to a crisp.” On their way home after the war, their identification comedy failed them. Dick was deployed on one ship, while Bob was deployed on another and stayed behind for an extra week. However, Bob’s ship was faster than Dick’s and he got back first. The brothers reunited in Massachusetts and they came home to Maine together.

They enrolled at the University of Maine in the College of Agriculture. Dick majored in horticulture and Bob majored in animal husbandry. Following graduation they opened Butler Twins Floral Center in Farmingdale. Bob later became an Episcopal priest. Dick and his wife, Barbara, who died in 2004, had six daughters, 19 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Bob and his wife Josephine, who died in 2005, had a son and a daughter. His son served in Vietnam and died later of a stroke. His daughter gave him two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Bob said, ”If Dick and I are wearing our WWII hats, people really show their appreciation. I have to thank them for keeping the world safe. We do not do it alone.”

The Class of 1951 Scholarships for 2019-2020 were awarded to the following: Benjamin Quimby from Old Town, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, is the grandson of the late Dodd Roberts ’55G and Alexander Thacker from Readfield, a senior majoring in computer science, is the grandson of the late Vance Norton.