Staff Sergeant Gerald Curtis Burton was born December 7, 1919. He was the son of John F. and Alice Burton. He was the brother of Paul Burton, John F. Burton, Arthur L. Burton, and Charles D. Burton. He lived in Knoxville with his parents; brothers; sister-in-law, Emma Burton; niece, Helen E. Burton; and cousin, Vernon Burton. He was married to Louise Pedigo.

Staff Sergeant Burton enlisted in the military on February 17, 1942 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He was killed on August 2, 1944, during a low-level bombing raid on Ploesti, Romania. Served as waist gunner on Major Ralph J. McBride’s B-24D aircraft with serialnumber 41-24230, nicknamed “Here’s To Ya Jo-Jo’s Special Delivery II.” The aircraft and crew were lost over the Ionian Sea after being attacked by Greece-based German ME-109 fighter aircraft.

Crew members
Commander, Major Ralph J. McBride
Pilot, Captain, Harry L. Jarvis
Co-Pilot, 1st Lt James S. Huston
Navigator, 1st Lt Coy B. Ellison
Bombardier, 1st Lt James M. Gill
Engineer, T/Sgt Carl A. Domke
Radio Operator, T/Sgt Stanley S. Krugel
Gunner, S/Sgt Gerald C. Burton
Gunner, S/Sgt James R. Key
Gunner, S/Sgt Wilbert L. Clifford
Gunner, S/Sgt Alpheus H. Riddle

He is memorialized at Cambridge American Cemetery and buried at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville. He was married to Miss Louise Pedigo (1923-2011) of Knoxville just six months before his death.

Photo courtesy

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 7 December 1919
  • Date of death: 1 August 1943
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 329th Bomber Squadron, 93rd Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Top Panel
  • Sponsored by: Jeff Burton

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