Frank Burr '45 Honored with Posthumous Diploma on Veterans Day
In honor of celebrating all who have fought nobly for their country, Archmere Academy celebrates Veterans Day by honoring former Archmere student, Frank Carpenter Burr, who lost his life during World War II with a posthumous diploma. He would have graduated with the Class of 1945.
Frank entered Archmere Academy in the fall of 1941 as a freshman months before Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7 later that year. Just two years later, Frank joined the Merchant Marine at 16 and experienced his first sea duty in March 1944. In the final months of World War II, Frank was assigned to S.S. Oklahoma as a Merchant Marine and Fireman-Watertender. When the unescorted S.S. Oklahoma and its crew of 72 were sailing between South America and Africa, it was hit by a torpedo fired from a German U-532. Frank died serving his country at the age of 19 on March 28, 1945—a few short months before the end of the war. He was awarded the Combat Star, given to Merchant Marines who are forced to abandon ship when attacked.
“I am so honored to be presenting this small token of gratitude for Frank and what he did for our country,” said Headmaster Dr. Michael Marinelli. “The beginning of the Archmere’s yearbook in 1943 begins with a statement about those in service that says ‘because they are defending their country and all that it stands for because they are helping to liberate the world from the tyranny of dictatorship, because they are shedding their blood that we at Archmere may still laugh, study, play, and pray the way they did, we gratefully dedicate this book.’ Presenting Frank’s family with the diploma he would have earned seems like a small token compared to the immense gratitude Archmere continues to have for those who have served.”
Archmere Academy acknowledges the sacrifice Frank made to ensure the freedom and safety of the United States by presenting his brother, Jack Burr ‘47, with the diploma Frank would have received if he had the opportunity to finish his education, along with an American flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.