1LT Enoch Paul Burley

1LT Enoch Paul Burley

Drumright, Creek County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 15 Aug 1943 (aged 23)
Morobe, Papua New Guinea
Burial Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas, USA
Plot 18, 0, 71
Military ,
Memorial ID 816533 · View Source
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Oscar R. Burley, father. Enlisted in the US Army Air Corps 5 July 1941. Flew over 100 missions during 300 combat hours. Stationed in New Guinea when killed. Awarded Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart.

1st Lt. Enoch P. Burley was a member of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF. He was the pilot of a military transport Douglas C-47 Skytrain "Liliane" (Serial Number 41-18682, Tail VH-CCI) that was shot down 15 August 1943 in the Tsili Tsili area in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The plane “took off from Port Moresby with personnel of the 35th Fighter Command Squadron and 39th Fighter Squadron. While approaching Tsile Tsile Airfield at low height, the aircraft was attacked by a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar led by Shigeo Nango of the 59th Sentai.

In the initial attack, the aircraft was set on fire, and passenger Dockery was seriously wounded in the shoulder. The captain attempted to make an emergency landing when attacked a second time, he was killed. The aircraft hit trees and crashed in a wooded area near Tsili Tsili.

Australian troops reached the crash site about an hour later. They found Robert Heller alive, and he had sustained injuries to both legs. He was thrown clear of the wreckage when its fuel tanks exploded. He was taken to Tsili Tsili, where he was evacuated back to Port Moresby. Two hours after being admitted to the hospital there, he died. Also shot down was another C-47 (Serial Number 41-18668). Sources: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/c-47/41-18682.html and http://www.baaa-acro.com/1943/archives/crash-of-a-douglas-c-47-dl-in-tsile-tsile-6-killed/

“One flight of the C-47's had just landed when twelve Sallys, escorted by an equal number of fighters and flying low enough to have avoided the Allied radar, roared in though mountain passes. Japanese shells riddled one airborne C-47 of the second flight and caused it to crash, killing all occupants; another transport vanished into the surrounding mountains and was never found. Source: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/png/tsili-tsili/missions-tsili-tsili.html

Aboard the C-47 "Liliane" that day were:
Crew (374th TCG)
Pilot: 1st Lt. Enoch P. Burley, O-66496 (KIA)
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt James F. Miles, O-66508 (KIA)
Crew Chief: T/Sgt Edward R. Bering, 682536 (KIA)
Radio: Pvt John Kvaka, Jr. , 13057826 (KIA)
Captain Robert C. Heller (39th Fighter Squadron, Dental Officer) (WIA/KIA)
Cpl Virgil H. Dockery (39th Fighter Squadron, Dental Assistant) (KIA)

First Lt. Enoch P. Burley
The body of First Lt. Enoch P. Burley was received today by the Watson Mortuary for reburial in the National Cemetery tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Weart-Gray Post of the American Legion of Drumright, Okla.. and the Tucker-Shelton Post of the American Legion of Fayetteville will be in charge of military honors. The Rev. J. D. Born, Church of Christ minister of Oklahoma City, will conduct the service.

Born in Texarkana, February 25, 1920, Lieutenant Burley attended schools In Drumright. He enlisted in the Army Air Force at Moffett Field, Calif., November 13, 1941, receiving training at Randolph and Kelly Fields, Texas. He went overseas in April, 1943, and was attached to the 370 Troop Carrier Squadron, Fifth Air Force. He was killed over New Guinea August 15, 1943. Survivors are his father, Oscar Burley of Drumright and his mother. Mrs. Cora Hinds of Salinas, Calif. Source: Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Arkansas), Thursday, 24 February 1949, page 8.

Bio by: Don J



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  • Imported from: US Veteran's Affairs
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 816533
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT Enoch Paul Burley (25 Feb 1920–15 Aug 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 816533, citing Fayetteville National Cemetery, Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by US Veterans Affairs Office (contributor 5) .