From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. I, pp. 178-79.
Otway Burns was born at Queen's Creek, near Swansboro, N. C., in 1775. During the War of 1812 he acquired letters of marque for the privateer Snap Dragon and commanded the fast little schooner on three cruises, having several encounters w ith British men-of-war, also taking numerous prizes. After the war he engaged in shipbuilding at Beaufort, N. C., and spent 13 years in the General Assembly of North Carolina. In 1835 President Jackson appointed him keeper of the Brant Island Shoal Light, a position he held until his death 25 August 1850.
(DD-588: dp. 2050; l. 376'5"; b. 39'7"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 329; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Fletcher)
The second Burns (DD-588) was launched 8 August 1942 by Charleston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Harry L. Smith, great-granddaughter of Captain Burns; and commissioned 3 April 1943, Commander D. T. Eller in command.
Burns arrived at Pearl Harbor 17 September 1943 and after a few weeks of training, embarked upon an out-
standing World War II career. Between October 1943 and July 1945, with the exception of a stateside yard period (February-April 1945), Burns participated in the following operations, acting as anti-submarine escort, picket ship, fighter director ship, and aircraft rescue vessel: Wake Island raid (5-6 October 1943), Gilbert Islands operation (20 November 8 December); occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls (29 January-8 February 1944), Asiatic-Pacific raids on Truk (16 17 February) Palau-Yap-Ul ithi-Woleai (30 March-l April) and Truk-Satawan-Ponape (29 April-1 May); Hollandia operation (21-24 April); Marianas operation (15 June-6 August) which included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Bonins raids, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the capture and occ upation of Saipan and Guam, and the Palau-Yap-Ulithi raid; western Caroline Islands operation which included the capture of the southern Palau Islands and the assaults on the Philippine Islands (6 September-14 October); Leyte operations including the 3d F leet supporting operations against Okinawa, Luzon, and Formosa (10 October-14 November); Lingayen Gulf landings (4-18 January 1945); and the Borneo operations, including the Brunei Bay operation and the Balikpapan operation (7 June-7 July).
On 30 January 1944, after picking up three downed American aviators, Burns was off Ujae Atoll enroute to rejoin her task group when she came upon a small Japanese convoy. During the ensuing 34-minute battle she succeeded in sinking all four Japa nese vessels, a small cargo ship, a medium tanker, and two small, either cargo or escort, ships.
Shortly thereafter Burns, as a unit of TG 50.9, took part in a surface action off Truk, Caroline Islands (17 February 1944). She assisted in sinking the Japanese light cruiser Katori in 07°45' N., 151°20' E., and a trawler before being or dered to track down and dispose of the Japanese Submarine Chaser No. 24, which was accomplished at 1655 in 07°24' N., 150°30' E. Six Japanese survivors were rescued.
After the cessation of hostilities Burns remained in the Far East on occupation duty until December 1945. During this period she operated in the Yellow Sea supporting the occupation of Korea and China. She departed the Western Pacific 29 Decembe r 1945 and arrived at San Francisco 8 January 1946. She then reported to the 19th Fleet for inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve 25 June 1946 at San Diego.
Burns received 11 battle stars for her World War II service.