Alexander John (Butch) Waldrum was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1941, and received his primary and secondary education in Lakeview, Alliston and Camp Borden Ontario. His BA is from the University of Manitoba.
He became a third generation soldier by joining the RCASC in 1961. His grandfather had served in the Toronto Scottish and was a veteran of WW1. His father served in the RCASC and was a veteran of WW2 and Korea. Commissioned in August 1962, he served with 3 Transport Company RCASC and the Recovery Platoon RCEME, as part of 3 Experimental Brigade Service Battalion.
He completed primary flying training at RCAF Station Centralia, Ontario and light aircraft and helicopter training at Rivers Manitoba in 1965 before joining 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon (RCASC) as a CH113A pilot. He flew with this unit in Rivers and St. Hubert, Quebec until June 1968, when he was posted to Soest Germany as the Brigade Air Staff Officer, at 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG) Headquarters.
He returned to Canada in 1971 as a pilot with 408 Squadron Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton, and then in 1974 was posted, upon promotion to Major, to Headquarters 10 Tactical Air Group (10 TAG) in St. Hubert.
After the Completion of the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 1977 he was posted as the Commanding Officer of 422 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Gagetown New Brunswick, and then in 1978, upon promotion, as the Commanding Officer of 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, In Lahr Germany.
After two Commands it was a return to staff as the Senior Staff Officer Operations at 10 TAG Headquarters in 1980, and in 1984, upon promotion to Colonel, was posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as the Director of Military Plans Coordination.
He attended the National Defence College in Kingston Ontario in 1987 – 1988.
In 1988 he was posted as the Commander of Canadian Forces Base North Bay and then upon promotion to Brigadier General in 1990, on to become the Chief of Staff for the United Nations Disengagement Force (Syria – Israel) in Damascus Syria and the Golan Heights. Simultaneously he was appointed the Commander of Canadian Forces United Nations Military Personnel in the Middle East. Of specific note, was his work with the release of the Western Hostages in Lebanon, during his time in Syria. Work which was recognized though the award of The Meritorious Service Cross.
In 1992, he returned to Canada and 10 TAG as the Commander until his retirement
Upon retirement he was employed at the United Nations Headquarter New York, within the Directorate of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) as the Chief of Transportation and then the Director of Logistics.
After leaving the United Nations in 1996, he established his own Consulting Company and was involved in aviation and logistical support to a number of Canadian and International Companies, working throughout, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Although retiring in 2014, he continued to conduct business through a holding company, but in reality he was mainly retired, after three careers.
Butch Waldrum is married to Judith (Judy) (nee Delong) of Edmundston, New Brunswick, and they have two sons Scott and David, and four grandchildren. Judy and Butch reside in Guelph Ontario.
1 Air OP Flight Group photos.
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