From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Born in Bismarck, N. Dak., 24 January 1905, John Edward Burke graduated from the Academy in 1928. In 1941 he was attached to the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy Department. Lieutenant Commander Burke was killed in action 15 November 1942 in the Pacific.

(DE-215: dp. 1400; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'6"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Buckley)

Burke (DE-215) was launched 3 April 1943 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. John E. Burke widow of Lieutenant Commander Burke; and commissioned 20 August 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. K. Winn, USNR, in command.

Between 11 November 1943 and 25 January 1945 Burke served with the Atlantic Fleet and completed nine round trip voyages escorting Atlantic convoys to North Africa and Europe. On 25 January 1945 she reported to Sullivan's Dry Dock and Repair Corp., Brooklyn, N. Y., and commenced conversion to a high speed transport. Her classification was changed to APD-65, 24 January 1945.

On 1 May 1945 Burke having completed her conversion reported to the Pacific Fleet. After exercising with underwater demolition teams in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, the ship proceeded to Okinawa, arriving 27 June. She served on picket duty off Ie Shima during her brief stay (27-30 June).

On 30 June Burke departed for Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands, where she trained with amphibious units. After the cessation of hostilities the ship acted as an escort for the occupation forces. On 26 October she left Tokyo Bay, Japan, for the Philippine Islands, where she performed various transport operations until 27 November. Burke returned to Norfolk 30 December 1945.

Serving as a unit of Transport Division 121, Burke operated out of Norfolk between January 1946 and April 1949, serving as Division flagship at intervals. The vessel accompanied the Division on periodic voyages to the Caribbean for tactical exercises with Marine units and operated off the Virginia coast with task units holding anti-submarine warfare and underwater demolition exercises.

On 3 May 1948 Burke assisted in extinguishing hold fires In the SS Shellbar off the Virginia coast. From June through October 1948 she made several cruises with reserve personnel on board, steaming along the New England coast and in the Caribbean. She then participated in fleet exercises from Norfolk to Argentia, Newfoundland, and return (1-20 November 1948).

Burke arrived 16 April 1949 at Charleston, S. C., reporting to the Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve 22 June 1949.

Burke received one battle star for her World War II service.