Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Outside the Mainstream? | Home | More Students? More Professors, Too? »


June 6, 1944: Fletcher Burton Jr. ‘45

Fletcher Burton ‘45 was killed seventy-three years ago today in an infantry landing craft on Omaha Beach in Normandy. He was twenty-one years old — one of twenty-four members of his class who fought in WWII and did not live to return to Dartmouth.

Burton left the College in his sophomore year and served in the Coast Guard as a seaman first class until his death on D-Day aboard the USS LCI(L) 94 — an unwieldy landing vessel whose initials officially stood for Landing Craft Infantry (Large), but colloquially were regarded as an acronym for “Lousy Civilian Idea.” On it he participated in the seaborne invasions of North Africa, and Sicily and Salerno, Italy. On June 6, 1944, the “94” was charged with dropping fresh troops one hour after the first wave of soldiers hit the French beaches.

Bloody Omaha” was the toughest of the five D-Day beaches, and Burton’s boat took heavy fire as it landed near Saint Laurent and Colleville-sur-Mer. It was hit by several German 88mm artillery rounds, and Burton and two crewmates were killed; Burton died instantly from the concussion of a shell.

Fletcher Burton Jr. ‘45 is honored by a plaque at the Pentagon as one of the “first fallen” on D-Day. He is buried at the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and the granite of New Hampshire keeps the record of his fame under the arches of Memorial Field:

Fletcher Burton Comp.jpg

Class of 1945 Plaque.jpeg

Thumbnail image for Capa LCI 94.jpgAddendum: Some time after Burton’s landing craft was damaged by the 88s, war photographer Robert Capa clambered onto the boat. He was seeking to return to safety with his now-iconic photos of the D-Day landings. Once on board, he took a memorable photograph (at right) of medics attending to Burton’s wounded crewmates.

Addendum: Today’s description comes from a carefully researched profile of Fletcher Burton’s short life and military service written by Ted Bracken ‘65. It is part of Bracken’s series about the men of Dartmouth who died in Normandy in June and July of 1944. He assembled the portraits as background for the Class of 1965’s journey to Normandy in June, 2016. The trip was planned and led by Professor Tom Long ‘65 of George Washington University, whose course on the Normandy invasion Bracken audited in the first half of 2016. The trip had logistical support from the Alumni Travel Office (special thanks to Robin Albing T’81), and research was conducted in the months prior to the June 4-12, 2016 trip in Rauner Library, the archives of the Taft School (Burton’s high school, where he was the New England prep hammer throw champion) and the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

Best-of-Logo-2014_dartblog.gif

Featured posts

  • August 14, 2013
    Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
  • June 25, 2013
    Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
    Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
  • October 18, 2009
    When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
    We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
  • October 9, 2009
    D Afraid of a Little Competish
    So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
  • September 4, 2009
    How Regents Should Reign
    As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
  • August 29, 2009
    Election Reform Study Committee
    If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at Dartblog.com should be presumed copyright 2004-2017 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.

Advertisement



admin

Calendar

August 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Search

Archives

Links