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First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Burr

Birthplace: St. Joseph, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Kansas City, MO
Middle Name: H.

Date of Birth: 13 September 1920

Date of Death: 08 February 1990

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served:
Herbert H. Burr

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Herbert H. Burr
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Staff Sergeant Herbert H. Burr (13 September 1920 - 8 February 1990) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Herbert H. Burr was born on 13 September 1920 in St. Joseph, MO. He joined the Army from Kansas City, MO. On 19 March 1945, Burr was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company C, 41st Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division. On that day near the town of Dörrmoschel, Germany, he was a gunner in a tank when the vehicle was hit by enemy fire, forcing all crew members except himself to bail out. Burr then took over the driver's seat and completed the assigned mission of reconnoitering a road in the town. Upon encountering a German artillery gun, he drove directly towards it and ran it over, destroying the gun and scattering its crew. After returning to friendly lines and dismounting from the tank, he braved hostile fire to bring medical aid to a wounded comrade. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 41st Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division.

Place and date: Near Dorrmoschel, Germany, 19 March 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry during action when the tank in which he was bow gunner was hit by an enemy rocket, which severely wounded the platoon sergeant and forced the remainder of the crew to abandon the vehicle. Deafened, but otherwise unhurt, S/Sgt. Burr immediately climbed into the driver's seat and continued on the mission of entering the town to reconnoiter road conditions. As he rounded a turn he encountered an 88-mm. antitank gun at pointblank range. Realizing that he had no crew, no one to man the tank's guns, he heroically chose to disregard his personal safety in a direct charge on the German weapon. At considerable speed he headed straight for the loaded gun, which was fully manned by enemy troops who had only to pull the lanyard to send a shell into his vehicle. So unexpected and daring was his assault that he was able to drive his tank completely over the gun, demolishing it and causing its crew to flee in confusion. He then skillfully sideswiped a large truck, overturned it, and wheeling his lumbering vehicle, returned to his company. When medical personnel who had been summoned to treat the wounded sergeant could not locate him, the valiant soldier ran through a hail of sniper fire to direct them to his stricken comrade. The bold, fearless determination of S/Sgt. Burr, his skill and courageous devotion to duty, resulted in the completion of his mission in the face of seemingly impossible odds.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, S/Sgt. Burr also received the Distinguished Service Cross. Burr left the Army as a Staff Sergeant.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Herbert H. Burr died on 8 February 1990 at age 69. He is buried at Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, MO, in Garden of Valor Section, next to Toohey and Long.

Honoree ID: 1312   Created by: MHOH




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