In Memory of
Army Pfc.

Victor Joe Burgess
Spearfish, South Dakota
Lawrence County
June 27, 1926—May 25, 1945
Killed in Action in the Philippines

Victor Joe Burgess

Victor Joe Burgess was born June 27, 1926, in Casper, Wyoming. Joe, as he was called, moved to Spearfish with his family when he was nine years old and he attended grade and high school in Spearfish. He volunteered for the service the month he would have begun school as a junior in high school.

Joe entered active service at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, on September 29, 1944. He was in the service only six months when he was sent into the Pacific battle. He wrote his mother detailed letters telling her to pull out the linen table cloth and napkins because he wanted to “live like a civilian once again.” The last letter Mrs. Burgess received from Joe was written in Cebu sometime in the middle of May. He was buried at American Armed Forces Cemetery No. 2 on Cebu, Philippines. His permanent burial location is Plot H, Row 4, Grave 123, Manila American Cemetery, Philippines. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

The Company Commander wrote later to Evangeline and provided additional details about Joe’s death.

The action against the Japanese in which your son was killed occurred 2500 yards east of Tabonok, Cebu,
Philippine Islands. At this time the company had assaulted a hill and was engaged in setting up a defense. 
The Japanese counter attacked with machine gun fire and your son was hit in the head and died instantly. 
…I can assure you that your son was a cool, capable, courageous soldier.

 Surviving him at the time of his death were his mother and two sisters, Beatrice and Annette, and two brothers, Glenn and Morton, who at the time, were both in the navy.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Marcella Moreno, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, February 14, 2000. Information for this entry was provided by newspaper clippings and an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment.