b. 11/05/1908 Neenah, Wisconsin. d. 25/12/1942 Buna, New Guinea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 24/12/1942 Buna, New Guinea.
Burr was born on May 11, 1908, in Neenah, Wisconsin. He joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in about 1928 and served with the 32nd Infantry Division. After the 32nd Division was federalized in 1940, he participated in training exercises with his unit until late 1941, when he was discharged for being over the 28-year age limit. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, led to Burr re-enlisting from Menasha, Wisconsin, and rejoining the 32nd Division.
After a few months of training in Australia, he was sent to New Guinea. By December 24, 1942, he was serving as a first sergeant in Company I of the 127th Infantry Regiment at the village of Buna. On that day, he smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown hand grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. He suffered severe wounds to his abdomen and died in a field hospital the next day. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on October 11, 1943. It is believed it was presented to his widow, Lucille.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. During an attack near Buna, New Guinea, on 24 December 1942, 1st Sgt. Burr saw an enemy grenade strike near his company commander. Instantly and with heroic self-sacrifice he threw himself upon it, smothering the explosion with his body. 1st Sgt. Burr thus gave his life in saving that of his commander.
BURIAL LOCATION; OAKHILL CEMETERY, NEENAH, WISCONSIN.
VETERAN’S SECTION, LOT 163
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.