Clarence Dalph Burnett

Clarence Dalph Burnett

Death 7 Jun 2002 (aged 90)
Burial Flora, Clay County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 29730243 · View Source
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World War II Service

Born on the Fourth of July, 1911, in McLeansboro, Illinois, he was drafted and entered active service on May 21, 1942 at Albion, Illinois. Completed Boot Camp at Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. Assigned to and fought aboard the Battleship USS Tennessee BB-43, serving as a Ship's Storekeeper through 12 combat operations in the Pacific Theater of Operations. These included Tarawa, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Kavieng, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Anguar, Leyte, Surigao Straits, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Returned with his ship to moor at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on December 7, 1945. During his tour, Burnett witnessed 'The Big T' hurl the better part of the 9,347 14-inch rounds, 46,341 shells from her 5-inch guns, and more than 100,000 rounds from her anti-aircraft batteries at the enemy since the first Pearl Harbor day, four years before. Honorably discharged on December 12, 1945 at the Naval Personnel Separation Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. Earned the Combat Action Ribbon (retroactively authorized by Congressional legislation in 1999), American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Battle Stars, WWII Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal with 1 Bronze Battle Star.

Civilian Life

Before the war, Clarence was employed in McLeansboro, Illinois, the town of his birth, as manager of a variety store owned by W. L. Arnold from January 1935 till he went into military service. Coincidently, on December 7 (a date of prominence twice more in his life) of 1935 he married his first wife, Viola. After the war, they settled in Flora, Illinois, and raised three children: Pamela K, Gayla J., and Tim C. Burnett. Clarence was employed by the venerable Bowman's Hardware store on East North Avenue (now the site of a mini-park developed by Doug and Jan Phillips). Not long after employment there, Clarence realized his dream of being a self-employed store owner by buying Bowman's store and proudly changing the name to Burnett's Hardware.

Clarence had always been an avid model airplane builder and flier (he was expert at remote controlled models, and all things lesser). So he added model airplanes and associated equipment to his normal line of hardware and other staples. Many a youth of Flora spent a lot of their allowances and earned dollars learning the model airplane skills that Clarence was always glad to share with them.

Clarence and Viola were active members of the First United Methodist Church of Flora. Sadly, Viola passed away "Before Her Time" on April 25, 1962 at the age of 47. A number of years later, Clarence remarried (Marjorie Raley Graham), later retired, and remained an avid model airplane builder for the rest of his days.

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  • Created by: Robert Medley Gatewood
  • Added: 11 Sep 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 29730243
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clarence Dalph Burnett (4 Jul 1911–7 Jun 2002), Find a Grave Memorial no. 29730243, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Flora, Clay County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robert Medley Gatewood (contributor 47043625) .