Burke_E

 

Capt. Edward Louis Burke


Born: 19 September 1914 - Brainerd, Minnesota

Parents: Patrick Burke & Anne Gresbeck-Burke

Siblings: 4 brothers, 1 sister

Married: Pernina Oliver - 30 September 1937

Hometown: 1007 Grove Street - Brainerd, Minnesota

Enlisted:

    - Minnesota National Guard

        - 10 June 1936 - rose in rank from private to first sergeant

        - 30 June 1940 - resigned from National Guard as an enlisted man

        - 1 July 1940 - Second Lieutenant

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 - Brainerd, Minnesota
            - remained at armory until 19 February 1941
            - marched to Northern Pacific Train Station
            - 12:19 A.M. - 20 February 1941 - board train for Fort Lewis, Washington
                - company had two tanks, one reconnaissance car, and six trucks

Training: 

    - Ft. Lewis, Washington

        Note: When Maj. Miller was made Commanding Officer of the

                   194th, Edward Burke commanded A Company as a First Lieutenant - 10 February 1941

Unit: 

    - 194th Tank Battalion

        - A Company commanding officer
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island, with a large radio transmitter, hundred of miles away.  The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.  The next morning, by the time another squadron was sent to the area the next day, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore.  Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.

Overseas Duty:
    - Ship: U.S.S. President Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day

            - took southern route away from main shipping lanes

            - escorted by U.S.S. Astoria - heavy cruiser
                - several times smoke from unknown ships seen on horizon

                - intercepted ships from friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
    - Ft. Stostenburg, Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

            - 8 December 1942 - Clark Field

                - during the Japanese attack on the airfield, Burke was  

                  wounded in his leg

                - taken to the hospital

                 - He returned to his company the same day stating the hospital

                   was overcrowded with soldiers who were more seriously

                   wounded.

                - in his own words, "They had too much to do at the hospital."

                - after the attack on Clark Field, the battalion was ordered to

                   barrio of San Joaquin on the Malolos Road
                - 10 December 1941
                    - battalion sent to Mabalcat
                    - C Company was sent to Southern Luzon to support troops
                - 12 December 1941
                    - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                        - arrived 6:00 A.M.
                - 14 December 1941
                    - A Co. & D Co., 192nd moved to just north of Muntinlupa
                - 15 December 1941
                    - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                    - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
                    - Bren gun carriers used to test ground to see if it could support tanks
                - 22 December 1941
                    - sent to Rosario
                        - west and north of the of barrio
                        - ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
                            - said they would hinder the cavalry's operation
                - 22/23 December 1941
                    - operating north of Agno River
                    - main bridge at Carmen bombed
                - 24 December 1941
                    - operating in Hacienda Road area

                    - promoted: captain
                - 26 December 1942
                    - outside of Carmen
                        - walking on road inspecting tanks
                        - fired on by Japanese
                        - severely wounded
                             - crawled into a ditch
                            - captured by Japanese the next morning

Prisoner of War: 

     - 27 December 1941

         - hit by enemy fire

         - this was the second time he had been wounded

         - believed he was dead, but he was only temporarily paralyzed 

         - taken prisoner by Japanese 

         - Japanese officer ordered his troops not to harm him because he had shown he

           was not afraid to die
     - wife learned he was a POW - 14 December 1942

POW Camps:

    - Philippines:

        - Unknown 

        - Cabanatuan

            - POWs who had been captured before Bataan was surrendered

               were taken to Cabanatuan

Hell Ship: 

   - Nagato Maru

        - Sailed: Manila 7 November 1942
            - POWs develop dysentery
                - seventeen died
            - submarine attacks convoy
                - Japanese put hatch covers on holds
                - POWs felt depth charges through haul of ship

        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 11 November 1942

        - Sailed: 14 November 1942

        - Arrived: Pescadores Islands 14 November 1942
            - remained anchored off islands because of storm
            - lice spread among POWs

        - Sailed: 18 November 1942

        - Arrived: Keelung, Formosa 18 November 1942

        - Sailed: 20 November 1942
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 24 November 1942
            - POWs disembark, deloused, showered, fed, and given new clothes

POW Camps:

    - Japan:

        - Tanagawa
            - officers cleaned camp up
                - including latrines
            - POWs tore down a mountain with picks and shovels to build a dry-dock

        - Zentsuji Camp
            - Arrived: 15 January 1943
                - poor diet resulted in deaths of POWs
                - medicine and medical supplies were available to POWs      

            - Worked at Sakaide Rail Yards and Port of Takamatsu
            - POWs worked as stevedores loading and unloading boxcars

                - when American planes bombed rail yard, the POWs were locked inside boxcars

            - 25 June 1945 - large group of POWs transferred from cam
                - during trip, American planes were everywhere
                - the Japanese believing the train was going to be strafed, uncouple the engine and left the

                  baggage ars and boxcars the POWs were in as targets

                    - did this several times
       - Rokuroshi Camp

    - 29 July 1943 - wife learned he was a POW in Japan

Broadcast: August 1945

    - Pernina Burke received a telegram from the War Department that her husband had made a radio broadcast and said, "It has been an awful long time since your last letter.  Received those, however; written on on our anniversary and my birthday.  I hope you are all well and I'm looking forward to our stay at Silver Creek.  Give all my love to  yourself, Mary Ann, and Perry (his children) also to mother, dad, and our friends.  Scotty (Capt. Muir), Russ (Lt. Swearingen) and the colonel (Col. Miller), are also well, so is Bob (Maj. Bob Beason, Mt. Vernon, N.Y., who had been with him since he was captured in December 1941.) .... send snapshot when you write.  Just staple them to the inside of the letter folder.  Once again all my love.  May God keep you safe for me and keep praying for me.  Your loving husband, Ed.  Capt. Edward L. Burke, Hiroshima Camp."
Liberated: 7 September 1945

    - returned to Philippine Islands

Transport:

    - S.S. Storm King

        - Sailed: Manila - not known

        - Arrived: San Francisco -  15 October 1945

Promoted: Major - October 1945

Discharged: 8 January 1947

    - returned to National Guard

        - left National  Guard - 1 January 1949
Married:
Children: 3 daughters, 3 sons

Residence: Saint Cloud, Minnesota

    - fought alcoholism and had been sober for almost nine years in 1970
Occupation: Dispatcher - Minnesota State Highway Department

Died:

    - 9 November 1970 - Sterns County, Minnesota
        - cancer

Buried:

    - Fort Snelling National Cemetery - Saint Paul, Minnesota

        - Plot:  N,  0,  1995


 

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