MAY 30, 1929


Born in Blanchard, Oklahoma, Tony’s family scraped a living as sharecroppers and later as farmers.  He graduated from Blanchard High School in 1947 and enlisted in the Army in July, 1950, at the start of the Korean War.  On October 8, 1951, as a Sergeant First Class with the 3d Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, and with his platoon under heavy fire during the battle for “Heartbreak Ridge,” Burris charged the enemy position alone throwing grenades and killing 15 of the enemy.  The next day, he led his unit in an assault.  Despite being wounded, upon reaching the crest of the hill, he deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire to reveal their position which was destroyed.  He destroyed another entrenchment and threw his last grenade at another before being mortally wounded.  His comrades overran the enemy position and secured Hill 605.  For this, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on September 5, 1952. 

Source:  “Tony Kenneth Burris,” The Hall of Valor.  Retrieved 4/15/2020,
Photo:  U.S. Army, 1951.  Public Domain. 

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