Pvt. Harold M. Burke was born in Franklin, Louisiana on October 7, 1916 to S. P. and
Emelina Burke. Maternal grandmother was Mrs. Elenora Legnon. Harold's parents moved
to Port Arthur, Texas where he attended Lutheran Schools.
In 1939, he married Gertrude Ruth Lee. They had two children, Carolyn Ann Burke
born in 1940 and Ronald Harold Burke born in 1942.
Harold Burke joined the Army in January 1943 and attended training camp at Camp
Fannin in Tyler, Texas graduating April 13, 1943. At Camp Fannin he was part
of Company 54A TR BA.
He was then sent to the European theatre on the World War II battlefront where
he was a member of the 2nd Infantry Division known as the Indianheads, Co B -
9th Infantry Regiment.
Pvt. Burke was wounded on December 16, 1944 at what became known as Heartbreak
Crossroads and the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. He was sent to a hospital
in England to recover from his wounds. Pvt. Burke received the Purple Heart and
the Infantry Combat Medal. He was honorably discharged on November 3, 1945.
Pvt. Burke spent most of his adult years in Port Arthur, Texas before and after
the war. He moved to Beaumont, Texas in 1960 where he met and married Lillian
Maxine G. Burke.
He attended Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where he made his home until
his death on June 15, 1976. Harold Burke was employed by Goodyear Tire and
Rubber Company at the time of his death. He had a heart attack while driving
home on Phelan Blvd.and hit a utility pole just a few blocks from his house
at 690 Peyton Drive. No one else was injured and he was alone in his car.
Harold was the eldest of five children. He is survived by a sister Ethel Van
Cleave of Port Neches, Texas and a sister Gloria Mae Fordyce currently of Lampases,
Texas. He has two surviving brothers, Sidney Burke of Boulder, CO and Warren
Burke of Port Arthur, Texas.
Of his two children, Carolyn resides in Nederland, Texas and is the webmaster
of this website. His son, Ron, lives in Rochester, Pennsylvania. He has
several surviving nieces, nephews, grand children and great grand children.
Harold M. Burke is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas in
the Azalea Garden section. Harold is remembered as a very loving and
generous man well respected by his peers. His daughter remembers him as
an accordion and chromatic harmonica player and a singer. As brother Ron
said, "Daddy Burke was a member of without a doubt the Greatest generation."
The only survivor now is his sister Gloria Burke Fordyce if she is still
living. To date all residencies have changed and will not be published.
Copyright © 1973 to current Carolyn B Hebert aka Moonlightflower.
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