Dave Burroughs

[29 SEP 1932 - M2 - 20184 - 21 MAR 1999]

Dave Burroughs Eulogies

Air Force Cross Award

Veteran Tributes Link

AOG Testimonials

Service Record



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Phil Enslow commemorating Dave Burroughs
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Phil Enslow commemorating Dave Burroughs
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Burroughs Plaque
[45th Reunion - SEP 2000]



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[10th Reunion - 1965]

Standing [L to R]: Weaver - Lewis - Turner - Chikalla - Gallup - O'Brien - Freed - Hadly - Wix - ? - Streett - ? - Reb Young - Quinn - Lenio - ? - Perkins - Thorsen - ? - Nieves - Sherman - Burroughs - Giza - Traut - Sloan - Gay - Paul Parks - Andrews - Ginter - Bates - McNair - ? - Lichtenberg - Nidever - Secord - Feagin - Cathey - Herren - ? - ? - Ludwig - ? - ? - ? - Ralls - ? - Shimunek - Macdonald - ? - ? - ? - ? - ? - Bob Strickland - Front [L to R]: Soper - Newton - Dax - Chance - Schmidt - Shideler - Bergen - Matteson - Hargrove - Hornbarger - Steakley - Stevens - Drummond - Rudzki - Knierem - Wargowsky - ? - Stern - ? - ? - Livesay - Dickson - Michalove - Hagan - Landers - ? - Blitch - ? - Cardillo - Ordway - Trobaugh - Crancer - Maus - LaFrenz - Sydenham - Strom - ? - Howie Stone - Schepps - Raymond - Spellman - Sanderson ? - Wray - Fikaris - Stevenson - Sims - ?

Larger Size



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M-2 Firsties - 1st Row: Sullivan - Batchman - Bosshard - Mullan - Blanton - Katenbrink - 2nd Row: Schmidt - Rock - Mendell - 3rd Row: Burkhart - Enslow - Farrington - Burroughs - 4th Row: Holbrook - Dryer - Cliff Jones (CO) - Ben Franklin (Absent: McIntosh)



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M-2 Yearlings



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M-2 Plebes



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Schow - Roades - Burroughs - Bishop -
Mayson - Patton [2nd Regiment Staff]



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Herren - Malone - Bazilwich - AF Captain - Olvey - Weden - Doerr - Holbrook - Hall - Perkins - Wargowsky - Burroughs [Air Force Trip - 1953]



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2012 AOG Online Register Entry

Register Glossary



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William David Burroughs

William David Burroughs was born on 29 September 1932 in Alexandria, Virginia. He was appointed to West Point from the 8th congressional District of Virginia. He entered West Point on 3 July 1951 and was in Company M2. His first Class years he was a Cadet Captain and the 2nd Brigade Commander. He graduated on 7 June 1955 and was commissioned in the US Air Force.



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William David Burroughs

William David Burroughs retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his wife Connie were married February 28, 1998. Seven children, (3 hers, 4 his) and seven grandchildren were among family present for the celebration. They resided in Arizona, until Dave's sudden death on March 22, 1999. He had emergency surgery on Monday, 3/15, for an aneurysm. Things were going well until another aneurysm ruptured. His wife stated "Please send prayers for this wonderful man. I know he's in heaven tonight and more comfortable than any of us. God bless you all."

Name: William David Burroughs
Home City of Record: Indianhead MD
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Colonel - United States Air Force
Unit: 15th TRS
Shot Down: July 31, 1966
Released: March 4, 1973
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 180000 North 1030000East
Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF101
Missions 98N 127T
Birth: Sep. 29, 1932
Death: Mar. 22, 1999
Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Plot: Section 46 Site 1707


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Letter from Dave

DEAR AMERICA: It's mighty nice to be home among friendly faces again. My understanding of the reasons for your personal interest in us is slow in coming, but among those many reasons I see a concern for those in need. This affirmation of the brotherhood of man suggests an idea that forced itself before me during these past years. There is almost nothing that you and I do - whether we like it or not - nothing we do that does not affect someone else. And even though the effect may be small, it can reach around the world. Our intellectual, vocal, physical, emotional, and spiritual actions and reactions have an effect on others. What we call our personal business often has some effect on others - if only in the joy or sorrow we exude to those near us. Cause and effect sometimes operate in unforeseen ways. The lesson I draw from this human condition says: consider well that well-intentioned actions can produce a negative effect, sometimes on those unknown to us.

One more comment before my sermon is done: The terms of sacrifice are uncertain. Those who have died have given their lives; those left behind have given that life and continue to give themselves in small and large ways each day. We can only sense and understand at best the effect. We cannot feel it. The sacrifice of those left here is anguish, lessened in some by their acceptance of the reasons for sacrifice, heightened in others because it is an involuntary thing. The effect of those lost lives is not only far-reaching, but deep beyond fathoms. Those who had lost a husband, father, or son, but now have him returned have also suffered that anguish. What remains is a hope that all of those left here by the men who died will have a rebirth for themselves.

If these words make sense, then let them be a tribute to those people who suffer from uncertainty and loss, and resolve to consider your effect upon them in showing your care.

William David Burroughs
P.O.W. Publications
1977


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William D. Burroughs 1955

Cullum No. 20184 • Mar 21, 1999 • Died in Mesa, AZ
Interred in Veteran’s Cemetery, Phoenix, AZ

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by; And that has made all the difference."—Robert Frost. William David Burroughs was born in Baltimore, MD, the youngest of four children. His father, Henry Dashiell Burroughs, was a federal employee, and his mother, Clara Mattes Burroughs, before her marriage, had been a postmistress of Indian Head, MD. Dave’s brother Henry had been a professional photographer for the Associated Press, spending many years covering the White House. Dave attended parochial schools through the seventh grade, switching to public school to develop his talents as a quarterback for his high school in Alexandria. Learning and athletics were challenges Dave mastered with quiet ease. Encouraged by his successes in both fields, he enrolled in engineering school at Catholic University in Washington, DC, as what he called "a day-hop student."

In what he described as a "kind of time-filling lark," he took the exam for USMA and Annapolis and was offered appointments to both. He selected the one farthest from home and entered West Point in July 1951 with the Class of ’55.

Dave’s success with academics is legend. He had an ease of learning and retaining that astounded his classmates and allowed him to spend far more time and effort helping others with their academic agonies. He decided against pursuing varsity athletics, choosing intramurals to allow him more time to enjoy his class and companymates, as well as make more time for activities such as Debate and the Russian Club. He proudly led the 2d Regiment during First Class year and graduated among the top 25 in the class. He selected Air Force before graduation, buoyed by the prospect of learning to fly. But, quietly, there were those in the Air Force who had taken notice of Dave’s outstanding qualities as a cadet and marked him for future development.

Following flight training, he was given an assignment to an obscure radar site in Montana. His orders, however, were intercepted by an offer to begin graduate school in preparation for an assignment as an instructor in the English Department of the newly opened USAFA in Colorado. He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and started his teaching career at USAFA in 1960. It was, Dave stated later, the most pleasant four years of his military career. At the time, Dave was married to an English major, and they had four children. As the fourth year of his teaching experience wound down, Dave had to make a hard choice—stay at USAFA and go on to get a Ph.D. or go back to the Air Force, with operational assignments and a mainstream Air Force career progression. He chose the latter, but his choice had unforeseen consequences.

The 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was stationed at Okinawa. During training in the States in preparation for joining that squadron, Dave had his end assignment in hand and, thus, it was unsettled time for the Burroughs family. Having preceded the family overseas already begun the frequent TDYs from Okinawa to Udorn, Thailand, flying combat recce missions, Dave was able to settle his family in Okinawa after a lengthy separation. It was during one of those TDYs to Udorn that Dave, a newly promoted lieutenant colonel, flew the solo recce mission that resulted in his being shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese. Being a solo mission, there was no confirmation of the plane being shot down or of his capture, and Dave was listed as Missing in Action. It was not until April 1970 that a visitor to Hanoi brought out some letters written by POWs. Among them was one from Dave to his mother, confirming that he was indeed alive.

The remaining years of internment until the 1973 end of hostilities did not lessen the suffering and agony of the POWs, Dave in particular. Knowing that Dave was alive was a blessing, but it was not without its agonizing worries. The ultimate return to the U.S. of Dave and all the POWs in March 1973 was a cause for grateful celebration and elation. After a period of joy, Dave began the long transition to normalcy. Along with other POWs, he attended ICAF, where, as expected, he was a Distinguished Graduate. It was a depressurization and hopeful return to his Air Force career. A noble try at that journey to normalcy was set aside by his retirement at 20 years, caused by the breakup of his marriage. He settled in the Phoenix area, where he had spent his last days in service. He became very active in the POW organization formed by Viet Nam War returnees. He entered the financial consultant business and increasingly, by choice, found himself doing pro bono work for those in need.

He maintained his contacts with classmates to keep alive his interest and investment in the military. He attended our 40th Reunion, where he was warmly greeted by all. In 1998, he happily married Connie Maresso, whom he had known since 1994 in Phoenix. They continued to live in Phoenix until early 1999, when Dave’s poor health, generated by the ravages of his POW days, turned more threatening. In late March, hopeful that a promise of release from the hospital signaled a ray of hope for recovery, he suffered a relapse and died. With him at the end were his children and Connie’s. A memorial service was held in the Washington, DC, area in the Ft. Myer Main Chapel shortly after his passing. It was the opportunity for an impressive turnout of Dave’s classmates and his extended family to pay their respects and to honor his sacrifices. When the class gift to the Academy, the Lichtenberg Tennis Center, was dedicated at the 45th Reunion in the fall of 2000, Dave was one of five classmates memorialized with bronze plaques on the terrace. Dave’s credo was, "Just do your job and carry your head high. One of the consequences is a clear mind, and I think that is invaluable." Truly, it is. Well done, Dave. Be thou at peace.


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