In Memory of
U.S. Navy Water Tender First Class
Clyde Charles Burrell
Colman, South Dakota
Moody County
January 12, 1903 – October 21, 1943
Killed aboard USS Murphy in Collision with Tanker in New York Harbor

Clyde Charles Burrell

Clyde Charles Burrell was born January 12, 1903, at Lemoni, Iowa, to Charles and Nell Burrell. He had a sister, Fern Edith, and five brothers: Roscoe Edwin, Glenn Virgil, Ovid Wayne, Donald Lee, and Lyle William.

On January 18, 1923, Clyde Burrell enlisted in the United States Navy at Omaha, Nebraska. He embarked for foreign service in 1923 and mostly remained outside of the continental United States from 1923 until the end of 1926, when he was honorably discharged but reenlisted and again saw foreign service until the end of 1930 when he was again discharged and subsequently reenlisted. From 1932 until 1939, Water Tender First Class Burrell was dispatched for foreign service. 1939-1940 saw Burrell serving in a domestic capacity. In 1941, Burrell was honorably discharged for a third time and reenlisted. On August 13, 1942, he was transferred to the USS Murphy soon after it was commissioned but transferred off before the USS Murphy sailed to Morocco as part of “Operation Torch.”

Water Tender First Class Clyde Burrell was once again attached to the USS Murphy when it returned to New York Harbor in the fall of 1943. On October 21, 1943, the USS Murphy was “struck on the portside between the bridge and forward stack by tanker Bulkoil. The forward half of the ship, sheared off slowly sank, taking 38 officers and men with it.” Among those who perished was Clyde Burrell.

The name of Clyde C. Burrell is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at East Coast Memorial, New York City.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator, Spearfish, SD. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment,,  and a newspaper clipping dated 5/25/44.