In Memory of
Donald T. Burke
Colome, South Dakota
August 16, 1922 ---November 26, 1944
Killed in Action in Frankfort, Germany
Donald T. Burke was born to Martin and Susan Burke in Clinton County, IA, on
August 16, 1922. He had 10 siblings: George, James, Jack, Jerry, Steve, Mary
Clare, Betty, Ruth, Maudie, and Bill. Donald attended Colome High School in
Colome, SD, and graduated in 1940. After high school he attended the U.S. Air
Corps to become a bombardier in August of 1944.
When Donald entered the U.S. Air Corps, he was sent to the Chanute Field in
Rantoul, IL. He was trained in navigation on the Ellington Field in Texas. He
was then trained as a bombardier in Midland, Texas, and was commissioned on June
10, 1944. More of his training was at the Gowen Field in Idaho. Later he was
sent overseas from Topeka, Kansas. He was stationed in the 491st
Bomb Group-854 Bomb Squad in England. He flew 66 missions over Germany in the
Second Lieutenant Donald Burke was in Germany at the time of his death. Lt.
Burke was a skilled aerial gunner. He and his crew were in flight when their
plane was shot down over Frankfurt, Germany, on November 26, 1944. Lieutenant
Burke was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Air Medal. The commander of the
Air Corps wrote to the Burke family to express his sympathies. He wrote, “Let
me, in communicating to you the country’s deep sympathy, also express to you its
gratitude for his valor and devotion.”
Lieutenant Donald Burke was buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Liege,
Belgium. A requiem high Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Church in
Petersville in memory of 2nd Lt. Donald T. Burke.
I will remember the service and the sacrifice of Second Lieutenant Donald T.
This entry was respectfully
submitted by Keri McCullough, 7th Grade, Colome Junior High School,
Colome, South Dakota, April 1, 2002. Information for this entry was provided by
Mr. Jim Burke, DeWitt, Iowa, brother of Second Lieutenant Donald T. Burke