Burch, Francis, EMC

Deceased
 
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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
EM-0000-Electrician's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Electrician's Mate
Primary Unit
1941-1946, EM-0000, USS Maryland (BB-46)
Service Years
1940 - 1946
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon
Panama Canal
EM-Electrician's Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

203 kb

Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Ken Burch-Family to remember Burch, Francis, CPO.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Cherokee, Iowa
Last Address
Evart, Michigan

Date of Passing
Feb 20, 1990
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion US Navy Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal

Order of the Golden Dragon


 Military Association Memberships
Post 7979, Evart PostPearl Harbor Survivor's Association
  1970, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 7979, Evart Post (Member) (Evart, Michigan) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1975, Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Retired and living in Evart, MI. with wife Elsie.  Dad would never talk about the war.    CPO Burch is buried in the Sylvan Cemetery, Osceola County, MI.
   
Other Comments:
I asked Dad on occasion about the war.  He couldn't bring himself to talk about it.  He did mention one time about a Japanese medium bomber ("Betty") ramming into his ship.  Dad fought in 7 major battles in the Pacific.  Torpedo hit the ship at one time and was sailed backwards to Pearl Harbor and then, I think, to Bremerton WA for repairs.    Dad was on the USS Maryland on December 7, 1941.  Can't imagine what he was thinking besides the horror and the anger.  Dads job during engaging the enemy on board ship was the first turret.  I couldn't get him to talk about that either.  When not in combat, Dad was an electrician.  He did stay with the USS  Maryland for the duration of the war.  I think that may be a bit unusual.  After the war, Dad went into electronics and made his living.  He sure was a good guy. 

Teresa Burch
Daughter-in-law
   
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Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June–9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.

Bombardment of Saipan began on 13 June 1944. Fifteen battleships were involved, and 165,000 shells were fired. Seven modern fast battleships delivered twenty-four hundred 16 in (410 mm) shells, but to avoid potential minefields, fire was from a distance of 10,000 yd (9,100 m) or more, and crews were inexperienced in shore bombardment. The following day the eight older battleships and 11 cruisers under Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf replaced the fast battleships but were lacking in time and ammunition.

The landings[4] began at 07:00 on 15 June 1944. More than 300 LVTs landed 8,000 Marines on the west coast of Saipan by about 09:00. Eleven fire support ships covered the Marine landings. The naval force consisted of the battleships Tennessee and California. The cruisers were Birmingham and Indianapolis. The destroyers were Norman Scott, Monssen, Colahan, Halsey Powell, Bailey, Robinson and Albert W. Grant. Careful Japanese artillery preparation — placing flags in the lagoon to indicate the range — allowed them to destroy about 20 amphibious tanks, and the Japanese strategically placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximize the American casualties. However, by nightfall the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had a beachhead about 6 mi (10 km) wide and 0.5 mi (1 km) deep. The Japanese counter-attacked at night but were repulsed with heavy losses. On 16 June, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed and advanced on the airfield at Ås Lito (which is now the location of Saipan International Airport). Again the Japanese counter-attacked at night. On 18 June, Saito abandoned the airfield.

The invasion surprised the Japanese high command, which had been expecting an attack further south. Admiral Soemu Toyoda, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Navy, saw an opportunity to use the A-Go force to attack the U.S. Navy forces around Saipan. On 15 June, he gave the order to attack. But the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the Imperial Japanese Navy, which lost three aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes. The garrisons of the Marianas would have no hope of resupply or reinforcement.

Without resupply, the battle on Saipan was hopeless for the defenders, but the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man. Saito organized his troops into a line anchored on Mount Tapotchau in the defensible mountainous terrain of central Saipan. The nicknames given by the Americans to the features of the battle — "Hell's Pocket", "Purple Heart Ridge" and "Death Valley" — indicate the severity of the fighting. The Japanese used the many caves in the volcanic landscape to delay the attackers, by hiding during the day and making sorties at night. The Americans gradually developed tactics for clearing the caves by using flamethrower teams supported by artillery and machine guns.

The operation was marred by inter-service controversy when Marine General Holland Smith, unsatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army Major General Ralph C. Smith. However, General Holland Smith had not inspected the terrain over which the 27th was to advance. Essentially, it was a valley surrounded by hills and cliffs under Japanese control. The 27th took heavy casualties and eventually, under a plan developed by General Ralph Smith and implemented after his relief, had one battalion hold the area while two other battalions successfully flanked the Japanese.

By 7 July, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate of the remaining civilians on the island, Saito said, "There is no longer any distinction between civilians and troops. It would be better for them to join in the attack with bamboo spears than be captured." At dawn, with a group of 12 men carrying a great red flag in the lead, the remaining able-bodied troops — about 3,000 men — charged forward in the final attack. Amazingly, behind them came the wounded, with bandaged heads, crutches, and barely armed. The Japanese surged over the American front lines, engaging both army and Marine units. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment were almost destroyed, losing 650 killed and wounded. However, the fierce resistance of these two battalions, as well as that of Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, and supply elements of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Artillery Regiment resulted in over 4,300 Japanese killed. For their actions during the 15-hour Japanese attack, three men of the 105th Infantry were awarded the Medal of Honor — all posthumously. Numerous others fought the Japanese until they were overwhelmed by the largest Japanese Banzai attack in the Pacific War.

By 16:15 on 9 July, Admiral Turner announced that Saipan was officially secured. Saito — along with commanders Hirakushi and Igeta — committed suicide in a cave. Also committing suicide at the end of the battle was Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo — the naval commander who led the Japanese carriers at Pearl Harbor and Midway — who had been assigned to Saipan to direct the Japanese naval air forces based there.

In the end, almost the entire garrison of troops on the island — at least 30,000 — died. For the Americans, the victory was the most costly to date in the Pacific War. 2,949 Americans were killed and 10,464 wounded, out of 71,000 who landed. Hollywood actor Lee Marvin was among the many American wounded. He was serving with "I" Company, 24th Marine Regiment, when he was shot in the buttocks by Japanese machine gun fire during the assault on Mount Tapochau. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was given a medical discharge with the rank of Private First Class in 1945.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Jun 15, 2012
   
Personal Memories

Memories
BB-46 hit by aerial torpedo which heavily damaged part of Port Bow. 0 KIA. Ship had to sail back to Pearl Harbor- Stern first.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  192 Also There at This Battle:
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Clonts, Alpheus Eugene, PO1, (1942-1948)
  • Crawforth, Evan, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Flynn, Paul, SN, (1944-1951)
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
  • Habick, Henry
  • Hazelwood, Denna, PO1, (1942-1944)
  • Kundrot, Vity
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