Burns, Donald Ray, Col

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1021A-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1966-1973, POW North Vietnam
Service Years
1951 - 1977
Officer Collar Insignia
Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

52 kb

Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1929
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Burns, Donald Ray, Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Mineral Wells, Texas
Last Address
Williamsburg, Virginia

Date of Passing
Apr 26, 1996
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 8 Site 8303

 Official Badges 

Combat Crew Air Force Retired


 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Nam-POWS
  1973, Nam-POWS


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on March 24, 1951, and served in TX, FL, NY, Japan, GA, SC, England, France, NM, Vietnam, AL, and VA before his retirement from the Air Force on May 1, 1977.
He spent 2,285 days as a POW in North Vietnam. 

His Silver Star citation:

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel Donald Ray Burns (AFSN: FR-44702), United States Air Force, for gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during December 1966, while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. Colonel Burns resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: Dec-66

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)

   
Other Comments:
Sources:
http://www.veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1036

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38962068

https://www.pownetwork.org/bios/b/b107.htm

https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/24160

https://www.ancestry.com
   
 Photo Album   (More...



Vietnam War
From Month/Year
January / 1960
To Month/Year
August / 1973

Description
Overview of the Vietnam War


Vietnam was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the 20th century. It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths and in an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or whether it was a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government.

Summary:

Between 1945 and 1954, the Vietnamese waged an anti-colonial war against France, which received $2.6 billion in financial support from the United States. The French defeat at the Dien Bien Phu was followed by a peace conference in Geneva. As a result of the conference, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam received their independence, and Vietnam was temporarily divided between an anti-Communist South and a Communist North. In 1956, South Vietnam, with American backing, refused to hold unification elections. By 1958, Communist-led guerrillas, known as the Viet Cong, had begun to battle the South Vietnamese government.

To support the South's government, the United States sent in 2,000 military advisors--a number that grew to 16,300 in 1963. The military condition deteriorated, and by 1963, South Vietnam had lost the fertile Mekong Delta to the Viet Cong. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson escalated the war, commencing air strikes on North Vietnam and committing ground forces--which numbered 536,000 in 1968. The 1968 Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese turned many Americans against the war.

The next president, Richard Nixon, advocated Vietnamization, withdrawing American troops and giving South Vietnam greater responsibility for fighting the war. In 1970, Nixon attempted to slow the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam by sending American forces to destroy Communist supply bases in Cambodia. This act violated Cambodian neutrality and provoked antiwar protests on the nation's college campuses.

From 1968 to 1973, efforts were made to end the conflict through diplomacy. In January 1973, an agreement was reached; U.S. forces were withdrawn from Vietnam, and U.S. prisoners of war were released. In April 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to the North, and Vietnam was reunited.

Consequences

1. The Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths.

2. Congress enacted the War Powers Act in 1973, requiring the president to receive explicit Congressional approval before committing American forces overseas.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
January / 1966
To Month/Year
August / 1973
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  3431 Also There at This Battle:
  • Aaron, Dan, MSgt, (1963-1989)
  • Abel, David, MSgt, (1972-1992)
  • Abel, James, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Abernathy, Paul, MSgt, (1965-1989)
  • Abram, Richard, SSgt, (1963-1967)
  • Abramo, Michael, MSgt, (1966-1990)
  • Acosta, Ralph, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Acri, Joseph, Sgt, (1967-1970)
  • Acton, Thomas, MSgt, (1964-1984)
  • Adams, Dave, Capt, (1966-1972)
  • Adams, Harold (Jim), TSgt, (1951-1971)
  • Adams, James, MSgt, (1966-1987)
  • Adams, Jerry L., TSgt, (1967-1989)
  • Adams, John, MSgt, (1956-1976)
  • Adams, Julian, Sgt, (1963-1967)
  • Adams, Stanley, Sgt, (1968-1972)
  • Adkins, Ben, Maj, (1955-1979)
  • Adkins, Ronald, CMSgt, (1967-1994)
  • Adolf, Frederick, Maj, (1954-1974)
  • Adolf, Gerald (Jerry), SMSgt, (1953-1980)
  • Agbayani, James, MSgt, (1965-1988)
  • Aggers, Dan, SSgt, (1967-1973)
  • Aglieri, Gary, MSgt, (1967-1988)
  • Aguinaga, John, Sgt, (1970-1974)
  • Aguirre, Frank, CMSgt, (1962-1992)
  • Ahern, Pete, A2C, (1963-1967)
  • Ahl, Gib, Col, (1959-1987)
  • Aiken, David W, Maj, (1964-1988)
  • Albarado, Evaristo, A1C, (1964-1968)
  • Albee, Raymond, TSgt, (1958-1982)
  • Alexander, Anthony, MSgt, (1968-1988)
  • Alexander, Ronald, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Allen, Richard, CMSgt, (1958-1978)
  • Alvis, James, Sgt, (1964-1970)
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