AGE21 yo
JOB before ENLISTEMENTBarbers, beauticians, and manicuristsCALIFORNIA
DATE of ENLISTEMENT14 august 1942 Los Angeles CALIFORNIA
BATTALION3rd Battalion
REGIMENT501st Parachutiste Infantry Regiment
DIVISION101st Airborne Division
DATE OF DEATH6 june 1944burnett tony a tombe

Clainville - South of Etienville

43 30734 plan picauville


Douglas C-47 - type A - s/n 43-30734 IB*P Chalk #16

C 47 douglas
Macr: 8414
Mission: #13 - Mission Albany
Transport of 17 paras (501st PIR) - DZ-D
Take Off: Station 474 Welford, BERKSHIRE for release at 01:20 on DZ-D
Shot by flak to 01h20


Map Normandy American Cemetery

Purple HeartPhoto FDLM
us armydiv 101506pir

Tony Allen Burnett, Jr. was born on August 16, 1923, in Louisiana to Tony Burnett, Sr. and Blanche Burnett. He lived in Oakdale for four years while his father ran a successful hotel business. When faced with financial misfortune, Mr. and Mrs. Burnett decided to pack up and move Tony and his sister, Emma, to Pasadena, California. Although the Burnett family faced financial issues as most did throughout the Great Depression, the children enjoyed the suburbs. Their father worked every available job, eventually becoming a police officer. In 1931, another sister, Florence, was born, but everyone called her “Boots.”

Tony attended Emerson Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. Then he attended Pasadena Junior College, a local high school merged inside a community college. After three years, he dropped out of school to support his family, which now included Emma’s husband, Donald, and newborn daughter, Emilie. He worked a variety of jobs, ranging from a pin setter in a bowling alley and to a barbershop.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army just two days before his 19th birthday.


Tony child


Photo of Tony's family taken by him before his memorial rollout

BURNETT Tony A famille

Private First Class Burnett enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 14, 1942, and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He completed his initial training at Camp Toccoa in Georgia. Burnett volunteered as a paratrooper in D Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR). Camp Toccoa was located near the Currahee Mountains and the regiment adopted the word “currahee,” meaning “stand alone” in Cherokee, as their motto. The word represented the independence that each paratrooper needed in preparation for combat, where they would often find themselves alone.

The dangerous job of a paratrooper attracted some of the bravest men. Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Sink, the regimental commander of the 506thParachute Infantry Regiment, established a unique training style that both pushed individual soldiers and set a world record for marching stamina. Private First Class Burnett was part of the historic group of about 600 paratroopers who marched 115 miles to Atlanta in just three days when his regiment was relocated. Burnett continued his training at Fort Benning in Georgia and received his certificate of completion for parachute packing, ground training, and jumping, on December 26, 1942.

BURNETT Tony a 1

Photo of Tony with classmates

In a letter to his parents, Burnett’s zeal for his job as a paratrooper was evident; he wrote that he would jump every day if he could. After a brief stay in a hospital in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Private First Class Burnett transferred to the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, G Company They continued training at Fort Benning and at Camp MacKall in North Carolina until the regiment deployed to England in January 1944. The regiment trained in England and participated in some rehearsals to ensure that each soldier was prepared for the difficult task that lay ahead: the invasion of Normandy.

On the day of the invasion, the 3rd Battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment left in five waves of planes from Welford Airfield. Private First Class Burnett was aboard a C-47, plane 43-30734, which was part of the third flight of the second wave. In addition to the pilot, co-pilot, navigator, aerial engineer, and radio operator, there were 17 paratroopers aboard. At 1:19 a.m., the plane was first struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire in the radio compartment, causing the aircraft to burst into flames. Immediately following the first hit, the jumpmaster, Staff Sergeant Charles F. Word, yelled to the rest of the paratroopers, and urged them to jump quickly. Before they all had the chance, the plane was hit a second time near the tail.

The aircraft crashed and exploded in an apple orchard near the small village of Picauville. Only three of the 22 men aboard the C-47 were able to jump out before the crash: Staff Sergeant Word, Private Arthur E. Morin, and Private First Class Lucien A. Tetrault. Private First Class Burnett and his fellow soldiers had made the ultimate sacrifice hours before the seaborne invasion began.


Crew of the Douglas C-47 - type A - s/n 43-30734 IB*P Chalk #16

Captain John Henry SCHAEFERS Pilot USAAF Dead- Mem Park, Flat Rock MICHIGAN
2nd Lieutenant Thomas Jr ASHWORTH CoPilote USAAF Dead-im Am Colleville-sur-Mer - MASSACHUSETTS
1st Lieutenant Joseph J SULLIVAN Navigateur USAAF Dead-Cypress Hills Nat Cim - Rapatrié en 1949
T/Sergeant Melvin Elvil ISSERSON Mecanicien USAAF Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - NEW YORK
S/Sergeant David Mac KENZIE Radio USAAF Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - MICHIGAN

Crew Paratroopers of 501st Parachutiste Infantry Regiment

S/Sergeant Charles F WORD Paratroopers 501st PIR Retrieved - Could jump in time
Pfc John A TETRAULT Paratroopers 501st PIR Retrieved - Could jump in time
Pvt Arthur E MORIN Paratroopers 501st PIR Retrieved - Could jump in time
Sergeant John A SCHADT Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - NEW YORK
Pfc Harry B BROWN Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Calvary Cem. Indianapolis, INDIANA
Pfc Anthony SALEMI Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-im Am Colleville-sur-Mer - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Pfc Milo W LUDY Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Antioch Cem. Portland, INDIANA
Pfc Ollie James DEHAVEN Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-DeHaven Cem. Lincoln Co, WEST VIRGINIA
Pvt James REYNOLDS Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Oak Hill Cem. B.1 - Griffin, GEORGIA
Pvt Michael A MASTRANDREA Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Long Island Nat Cem. East Farmingdale, NEW YORK
Pvt Michael L PUSHCARE Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead - PENNSYLVANIA
Pvt Corwin J RANDT Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Graceland Cem. Clintonville, WISCONSIN
Cpl William A SOBIERALSKI Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - WASHINGTON
Pfc Tony A BURNETT Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-im Am Colleville-sur-Mer - CALIFORNIA
Pvt Felix J LOPACHIN Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - ILLINOIS
Pvt Erland W CHELLIN Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Ridgewood Cem. Des Plaines, Cook Co, ILLINOIS
Cpl Eugene W MORRISON Paratroopers 501st PIR Dead-Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer - OREGON

C47 douglas  

43 30734 stele picauville 2

43 30734 stele picauville  

Stele in memory of the C47 Douglas fallen June 6, 1944

43 30734 stele picauville 1


PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud
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