My Father's War

Recollections of World War II by Philip C. Ellsworth

My Father's War Robert Burlison Remembered

Robert Burlison Remembered

Robert Burlison
Robert Burlison

Last spring I submitted a file for Robert Burlison to the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.  Robert (Burley) was a Browning automatic rifleman in Company E, 397th.  He died as a result of wounds received at Rimling.  We shared foxholes and he was like an older brother;  not many days go by when I don’t think of him.

In putting the file together I received some material from the museum at Edmeston, NY, Robert’s home town; from one of his friends; and from Cornell University.  I could not have even started without help from The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY.

After completing the file I sent a copy to Robert Nonenmacher at the Edmeston museum.  Here is the letter I received in reply 7/11/05:

        Dear Philip,

        Your Veteran History Project for Robert Burlison has gone farther than you might know.

        First of all, I sent some of your material to Robert Purple, the son of George Purple (the principal in Edmeston when Robert Burlison was here).

        The next thing was that the Edmeston Central School team became the New York State  Baseball Champions this year (undefeated).

        Then Robert Purple came to Edmeston to help the team celebrate.  He had been the baseball coach here when the present coach was in high school.  In Robert Purple’s speech he talked about your Robert Burlison and his story in World War II.  He also brought a baseball.  The enclosed picture (of the ball) shows Edmeston beat Leonardsville May 1939 (17-0); a no-hit, no-run game pitched by Robert Burlison.  Bob was usually a catcher, but in a small school one had to play more than one position.

        The wonderful part of this is that our museum now has the baseball to show to all, and your story of Robert Burlison has been passed on to hundreds of people.

                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                Robert Nonenmacher     

baseball team with robert burlison
Edmeston baseball team with Robert Burlison, middle row, far right.

I don’t know whether the file will be accepted by the Veterans History Project, as the project is really for recollections of living veterans.  But that is almost beside the point now that I know that hundreds in his hometown area have been reminded of him.


Phil Ellsworth
2nd Platoon, Company E, 397th

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