Skip to content

Rhode Island’s Last Surviving Tuskegee Airman Is Collecting Cards For His 100th Birthday

Rhode Island’s Last Surviving Tuskegee Airman Is Collecting Cards For His 100th Birthday

He plans to read every one!

Rhode Island’s last surviving Tuskegee Airman is collecting cards in celebration of his 100th birthday, WJAR news reports.

Retired Sgt. Victor W. Butler is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen in Rhode Island. A mechanic in the service, he broke barriers and paved the way for desegregation in the U.S. military. While grateful for all he’s been able to accomplish, Butler said that heading down to Tuskegee wasn’t his first choice. 

“At first, I was going to join the Canadian Air Force with a friend of mine, but after I had signed up, my mother and father wouldn’t approve of it. So, I joined with the American Air Force,” he said.

Photo Courtesy of Victor Butler/WJAR

Butler reflected on his time in the service, admitting that it was just as challenging as it was rewarding, primarily due to the pervasive racism of the time. 

“The airfield was very nice. It was the visit to the town that was bad. Being in Tuskegee, Alabama, it wasn’t very acceptable to white people for Black soldiers to be walking around,” Butler recalled. 

Photo Courtesy of Victor Butler/WJAR

These days are much quieter, Butler taking time out to just reflect on his amazing life. Now as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday on May 21, the veteran says he wants nothing more than to receive some birthday cards. 

“It’s just another day. That’s all. [But] I’ll read every one of [the cards],” said Butler. 

The Rhode Island native has gained several accolades over the years and he’s grateful for it all. Nowadays he spends his time solving puzzles, enjoying his family, and giving out sage advice. 

“Just enjoy life as it is. Be thankful. I’m thankful that I have a nice wife, and a nice home to live in…There are so many people that have lost their home and I am very fortunate to have a nice home and wife and my family who come to visit me often,” said Butler. 

You can send Mr. Butler a birthday card here: Victor W. Butler, C/O Gary Butler, P.O. Box. 3523, Cranston, RI 02910. 

Happy Birthday, Mr. Butler!

Photo Courtesy of WJAR