Max Warren Burns


Nebraskan Sgt. Max Burns joined the AAF in 1938, retiring in 1964. He was at Pearl Harbor, Hickam Field on 7-Dec-41. Awakened by the sounds of exploding bombs, Burns was ordered to man a machine gun atop an aircraft hangar with a comrade. He writes, in a letter to his mother, that they were firing at incoming Japanese planes, without apparent effect, when a bomb blew them off the hangar onto the roof of a paint shed below. Except for cuts and bruises, both were unharmed.

Sgt Burns went on to fly 25 missions as tail gunner in the Pacific with the 13th Air Force, then 27 more in Europe with the 563rd Bomb Squadron, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross with Three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Cluster.

Max and his future first wife Dorothy graduated from Holdrege, Nebraska high school in 1940. They were married in 1944. Max retired from the USAF in 1964 at the rank of CM/Sgt. He married his second wife Judith in 1979, passing away in 1997.


Awards: DFC (3OLC), AM (4OLC), American Campaign, AP, EAME (4BS), WWII Victory.


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Units served with

The insignia of the 388th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Winged Fury
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron



Event Location Date Description


Holdrege, Nebraska 11 November 1921 Born Holdredge, Nebraska


White City, Oregon 7 February 1997 Died White City, Oregon


10 July 1997 Interred Eagle Point National Cemetery Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon