Holt Fairfield Butt III – Lieutenant (Chaplain) United States Navy

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The Rev. Holt Fairfield Butt, III was born January 16, 1907 in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, the son of Holt Fairfield Butt, Jr. and Leonora Wilcox Butt.

He was graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, and attended Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, 1926-1927 before transferring to the University of Virginia, graduating in 1929.  He studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, graduating and ordained in the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Southern Virginia in 1932.

In October 1932, he was married to Elizabeth Edson of Washington, D.C.  He was minister in Brandon parish on the James River in Virginia, 1932-1934, Rector of Christ Church, Kensington, Maryland, 1934-1937, and was appointed Chaplain of the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 1937 by President Roosevelt where he served until 1941.

In November 1943, while Rector of St. George's, Rumson, New Jersey, he enlisted as a Chaplain in the Navy, Construction Battalion, (SeaBees) serving aboard the USS Ajax. He was first assigned to the Aleutian Islands before being transferred to New Guinea where he saw action and intense fighting and contracted malaria.

At war's end, he returned home to National Naval Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, to recover.  He then was called as Rector of Christ Church, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1946 and died August 6, 1951 at the age of 44.

He is buried on Chaplains' Hill in Arlington National Cemetery with military honors on August 9, 1951. There are four sons, Holt Fairfield Butt IV, of Washington, D.C., the Rev. John Edson of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, the Rev. Robert Edson of Hingham, Massachusetts, and Michael Edson of Corvallis, Oregon.

Information supplied by his son, the Rev. Robert Edson.

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BUTT, HOLT FAIRFIELD III
LT CHAPLAIN CORPS, USNR

  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 01/16/1907
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/06/1951
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 08/09/1951
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 2  SITE E209 RH
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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