Roy “Butch” Voris
“Blue Angel Number One”
Artwork and Research is by; Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
Roy “Butch” Voris, Blue Angel Number One, 18×24″
There are 550 limited edition prints in this series.
Limited Editions are signed and numbered by the Artist and by the Ace. $95.00
All signatures by both the Aviator and the Artist are done in soft graphic pencil.
Shipping $8.00 anywhere in the world.
Poster Print $18.95
Poster prints are autographed by the artist only.
Roy M. “BUTCH” Voris
By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
Navy Wildcat Ace and Blue Angle Number One
Briefly, Butch, or Roy Voris was born on September 17, 1919. His father was a strong and frugal man and so was his mother. His father grew up hard by working in coal mines when he was a boy. Over his life his father did many things until he finally ended up becoming a Realtor and Insurance agent. Roy’s family was devout Seventh Day Adventist with his father being the choir director. Butch said for entertainment at night in their home his father would play the violin and his mother played the piano. This was way before television and the radio was just getting started. At one time the only entertainment families had in their homes was singing and playing instruments. Back in these early days there was music in almost every house played by the family members. Now sadly we fight over the remote control.
Roy (I am going to call him Roy during this segment of the story) was good with his hands and he liked to repair things. He also loved to build balsa wood airplanes. His mother encouraged him and would take him into town to buy the wood. Later at home she would watch him meticulously build the airplane. He enjoyed building airplanes and she enjoyed watching. This was a great time in which they both bonded. Both his mother and father were excellent parents. Roy said that he never heard a curse word until he joined the Navy.
He never thought about becoming a pilot at first in his youth even though he loved his airplanes. He was fascinated by airplanes and like many people during this time Roy would run outside when ever he heard an airplane fly over. He said that he would watch it in complete fascination. He began riding his bike to a local airport and stood along a fence at the end of the runway as airplanes took off. He told me that he still remembers that the airplanes would take off right over his head. It was a thrill for a boy his age. Sometimes there were Ford tri-motors which had three engines that took off only fifty feet or so over his head. They were thunderous and shook his bones with excitement.
One story that I found fascinating was a special surprise his father gave him one day. His father took him on a special trip that did excite him. He got to go and see his first aircraft carrier. It was the USS Saratoga. They got to tour the ship that had been opened to the public for tours. The Saratoga was not originally built as an aircraft carrier but was a converted cruiser. Yet it was officially one of America’s first aircraft carriers. The experience with his father really thrilled him but think how thrilled Roy was when just ten to eleven years later he made his first carrier landing on that very same ship. On that same ship!
When he had extra money he paid for a few flights in a two-seater that flew him for a discount at night. He told me that he loved to look down on the lighted parts of the city and the homes in the country with their windows yellow with the glow of lights. He said that he often imagined what each family was doing in their warm comfortable homes as he sailed over them. He did enjoy these things but his real interest was making money. He started delivering magazines and working at odd jobs all over town. He said he always found something to do including working as a caddy at the local golf club.
Roy was big for his age and entered athletics. He played football and other sports as well. When he graduated from Santa Cruz High School he was one of the football stars. Being big for his age gave him an edge over the others in his class. He continued his education when he attended Salinas Junior Collage which was located south of Santa Cruz.
Below are my notes I took from a video tape that I filmed of Butch as he autographed my limited edition print series. It doesn’t cover everything in Butch’s life because if I did add everything my first book would be as thick as War and Peace which would make for a good door stop. I want everybody who reads my book to enjoy it even if this is the first war book you have ever read. What I want to convey is the life and times of these great men.
Actually my intentions were not to write a war book but to write about my interviews and reflections of working with the finest men and women who has served this country in the field of aviation. It was their deeds and the sacrifices of those who did not come back that made me infatuated with studying war since I was in the fourth grade. In my series of Famous American Aviators I wanted to not just paint the profiles of our famous fighters and bombers, I wanted to meet these men who I had read about when I was in school.
I never thought that one day I would actually get to meet my boyhood Heroes like Robert Scott who wrote “God is my Copilot”, Robert Morgan who flew the Memphis Bell and Flying Tiger Ace, Tex Hill. All of this has been a labor of love. Thousands of hours of labor. Believe me when I tell you this has been very laborious indeed! I had no idea how much research I did until I broke everything out and started writing.
I will say that in the first thirteen days of August 2012 as I sit here and write this, I have typed and edited over seventy three thousand words! That is a lot of words in thirteen days. My eyes were bugging out. Now I am forcing myself to reread what I have written over and over to proof the stories and add when I need to and to delete when necessary. All I can say it that after working with these great men I knew that I was going to quit Real Estate and become a writer and artist. Enough about me, let’s get down to the story of Roy “Butch” Voris.
The first questions I asked Butch were about his combat on the island of Guadalcanal. It was during aerial combat over the island where Butch won his Purple Heart. I asked Butch if he ever bailed out of his fighter and he said “no, you don’t want to bail out.” He said that during the air battles a pilot in a parachute was an easy target for enemy fighters. Butch also admitted that the Americans would shoot the Japanese in their parachutes as well.
During this early part of the war, November, 1942, Butch was flying the Grumman F4F, Wildcat. This was our first modern fighter for the Carrier Fleet. It was a mono wing design which had folding wings for more compact storage on board the carriers. The fighter was also equipped with retractable landing gear ever though the pilot had to hand crank the wheels up himself using a crank in the cockpit. Compared to the Japanese Zero fighter the Wildcat had some built in short comings yet in the right hands the fighter could hold its own enough to get the pilot back to base. The fighter could take a beating and still fly.
Butch served aboard the Enterprise during the Battle of Guadalcanal. This would be his first combat assignment. On November 14, 1942 during the first part of the battle Butch was flying combat air patrol around the carrier to protect it from incoming enemy aircraft. After one patrol flight he returned to the carrier low on fuel. He landed and waited for another fighter to be readied for him to continue his patrols. While Butch was eating a sandwich of lunch meat the Enterprise sounded general quarters. An incoming flight of Japanese aircraft was headed their way. It was at this time a dive bomber pilot named Hal Buell was taking off from the Enterprise with his squadron to find and attack the Japanese fleet. You will read about Hal in the upcoming chapters.
While Butch was in the ready room the Enterprise was hit by three Japanese bombs. The damage to the carrier was horrific. Fortunately the fires were controlled but at a high loss of life. These were indeed terrible stories. Butch told me that there were so many men that were injured and killed that they were put on stretchers that lined the halls around the medical facility stacked up like piles of wood. Many were missing limbs while many others were burned beyond description.
He told me that one man had both legs blown off along with one arm. The fingers on his remaining hand were gone as well. He was allowed to crawl to a hole in the side of the ship and throw him self over into the ocean committing suicide. The medics told him it was OK because he was going to die anyway. Never let anyone tell you that war is glorious, they are disturbed. There is never any glory in violence. Yet even with all of this gore all of the men like Butch who was there and witnessed every part of this horrid part of combat came back from the war just fine with no PDSD on anything like that. What a few generations can change
Tennessee “Hog Heaven” Pork Barbecue
Below is a hand typed recipe for barbecue pork by Butch Voris. He typed this on a type writer.
This was sent to me by Cathy Lederer. Cathy called me after reviewing this page of Butch.
Cathy called me and said that she worked with Butch when he was a consultant at NASA during the first shuttle missions. I really felt comfortable talking to Cathy because it was obvious that she knew Butch as I did. When I say that I mean that Butch was a fine man, an honest straight person. A great guy to be around and to know and work with. Cathy told me that her time working with Butch was an honor and I would agree. Butch was a great American and an easy person to work with.
I am adding this to this page to honor Butch and to share this with everyone. I do not mind everyone coping and using the recipe as long as you do not claim it as yours!
I say we give it a new name, don’t you? Let’s call it “Butch’s Hog Heaven Blue.”
Please enjoy and if you try it, e-mail me and let me know how it turns out.
“Butch’s Hog Heaven Blue.”
Here I am with Butch Voris and the Blue Angel Number One for 1996 at the Blue Angel 50th anniversary at N.A.S. Jacksonville, Florida.
Here is Butch autographing the prints.
These are the paintings I did of all the aircraft that Butch flew. Butch personally autographed each painting.
I have original paintings signed by Butch that would be a great investment for a Blue Angel collector.
One painting is of the F6F Hellcat.
One of his F4F Wildcat he flew on Guadalcanal.
One painting is of his F6F Hellcat he flew in combat.
The last two are of the Bear Cat and the Panther he flew with the “Blues”.
These paintings will be sold as a group only.
If you are interested in this collection please contact me below at my E-Mail address link.
All original paintings are autographed by Butch.