From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Burke '28

Date of birth: March 19, 1905

Date of death: November 15, 1942

Age: 37

Lucky Bag

From the 1928 Lucky Bag:


From NavSource:

John Edward Burke was born on 24 January 1905 in Bismarck, N.D. He was commissioned ensign upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1928. Burke saw service afloat before serving as aircraft gunnery observer with the Battle Force Torpedo School. Service in USS Wasp (CV 7) was followed by periods of training duty. On 02 February 1942 Lt. Comdr. Burke reported to USS South Dakota (BB 57) at the New York Shipbuilding Corp. in Camden, N.J., for duty as air defense officer. The battleship was commissioned on 20 March and, following shakedown training, headed for the Pacific. Just after midnight on 15 November 1942, South Dakota engaged a Japanese bombardment group under Admiral Kondo off Guadalcanal. South Dakota took 42 hits which killed 30 crewmen and caused considerable damage. Lt. Comdr. Burke was one of those killed. Lt. Comdr. Burke was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

During his career John served aboard the USS New Mexico (BB-40), USS Blakeley (DD-150), USS Fox (DD-234), USS Goff (DD-247), USS Rigel AD-13 based in San Diego, and the USS Wasp (CV-7) according to Naval Registries.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

He is buried at sea and his memorial is in the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.


USS Burke (DE 215) was named for John; the ship was sponsored by his widow, Miriam.

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Class of 1928

John is one of 17 members of the Class of 1928 on Virtual Memorial Hall.