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1st Sgt Elmer J. Burr
U.S. Army, 32nd Infantry Division, 127th Infantry Regiment, Company I

Born in Neenah, Wisconsin. Joined the U.S. Army at Menasha, Wisconsin. Assigned to the 32nd Infantry Division, 127th Infantry Regiment, Company I in New Guinea.

Wartime History
On December 24, 1942 during the Battle of Buna 1st Sgt Burr deliberately threw himself atop an enemy grenade that landed near his company commander, smothering the blast which killed him but saved others. Later, he earned the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Medal of HonorPosthumous Medal of Honor Citation (12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944)
Citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. During an attack near Buna, New Guinea, on 24 December 1942, 1st Sgt. Burr saw an enemy grenade strike near his company commander. Instantly and with heroic self-sacrifice he threw himself upon it, smothering the explosion with his body. 1st Sgt. Burr thus gave his life in saving that of his commander. "

Boyce was officially declared dead on December 25, 1942. He is permanently buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Neenah, WI in Veteran’s Section, Lot 163.


FindAGrave - Elmer John Burr (photo, grave photo)

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