Gustave E. (Bud) Budruweit

Memorial Location


  • Lieutenant
  • 1952- September 20, 1957
  • Korean War
  • Killed in Action

Gustave Budruweit was born on September 16, 1932. As a young boy he was polite, well mannered, and very handsome. He got the nickname Bud because of his last name Budruweit. He was raised in Chicago, Il and went to Carl Shulz High School. He was tall with blond hair, blue eyes and full lips; you can tell he was a ladies’ man. He graduated and moved on to college at Iowa University. In the constant notes he wrote to his mother you could tell that he was having a hard time walking around the campus at Iowa compared to the small school in Chicago. His mother was named Ruth Thorson and his father’s name was Lester Thorson. There were the nicest parents you could hope for. After getting his degree in college to be a Lieutenant, he transferred to the Air Force. It had been his lifelong dream to fly airplanes and be Lieutenant in the Air Force. He was finally going to accomplish it.

He entered the Air Force as a second Lieutenant at age twenty. In the beginning of his career, he was to be stationed at Holloman Air Force base in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Little did he know that while he was in Alamogordo he would meet the girl of his dreams, Patricia Lopez……as a young lady she started to go to dances at the Officers Club. It was one of those nights she met Bud and before anyone knew it, they were getting married.
It was a normal day in England, clear skies perfect temperature and beautiful as always. Bud and his small family were stationed there while he did practice runs in many planes. A couple years had passed, and Bud and his wife had one baby girl. Her name was Debbie. She had beautiful blond hair, brown eyes, and the cutest smile. Bud would carry a comb in his back pocket and comb Debbie’s bald head with it He said it would help it grow faster. He would show his whole family off by saying to his friends, “Isn’t she the most beautiful daughter ever and isn’t she the most beautiful wife ever.” He was a great husband and father, always putting his family before himself and the Air force. When he would fly over the small house in England, he would tip his wings to let her know that it was him. On the day of September 29, 1957, he was called to the base to do a practice run. He told Patricia that he didn’t have a good feeling about going up to fly that afternoon. Little did Patricia know but this was going to the last time she would ever see Bud. He arrived on time to the base, got changed and headed out to the plane. He would be flying a B-45 bomber. These planes were nicknamed the Flying Coffins. It was named this because of the numerous deaths that have occurred while flying that plane. Bud climbed the stairs to the cockpit and sat in the passenger side. He was not going to fly the plane that afternoon and was not happy about that. The takeoff went fine but after five miles the third engine and the fourth engine died, and the plane quickly dropped. They didn’t have enough time to jump before the plane came crashing down and the lives of three young men lay dead on the European soil. The news spread across his hometown quickly and across America. Everyone was devastated the young handsome boy was dead, the sweetheart of his high school. For years people have been debating that the B-45 bombers should not be allowed to fly, and some people are still arguing the point.
Gustave Budruweit – “I always am safe when I’m flying, because I’m closer to God.” 1957.

This touching story was written by Gustave’s Grandson Jesse Barnsley as a school project.

Gustave is the brother of Bruce P. Budruweit and close associate with Ralph W. Breede and Thomas Ralph Breede.