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SGT Frederick A. Burness, Jr.
B Company, 720th MP Battalion,

General Headquarters, Far East Command

Killed In Action ~ Missing In Action
22 April 1943 ~ Coral Sea, World War II


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They Say,
our deaths are not ours,
they are yours,
they will mean what
you make of them.

They say,
we leave you our deaths,
give them some

Archibald MacLeish
poet and WWI

There is no contact information for the next of kin.

     SGT Frederick A. Burness of Baker Company was in charge of a detail escorting Japanese prisoners of war from Townsville, Australia to Port Moresby, Papua (Australian) New Guinea by air when the aircraft crashed in the Coral Sea near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. SGT Burness did not survive the crash and became the first battalion and Baker Company casualty.
    The aircraft SGT Burness was using for his mission, the CAMILLA, a Short S024 class Empire Flying Boat, registration number VH-ADU, contracted by Quanta's Empire Airlines to the Australian military. The Camilla took off from Townsville at 1250 hours with a crew of five, and twenty seven passengers including twenty-two from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and five from the U.S. Army. The Camilla crashed into the Coral Sea during an attempted water landing due to a continuing weather emergency. Two crewmembers and eleven passengers including Sergeant Burness perished.
     The name, Frederick A. Burness, Jr., Sergeant, 720th MP Battalion, Missing In Action, is listed on a memorial monument located at the Manila American National Cemetery, Philippines.

Frederick A. Burness, Jr.

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Service # 33052912

720th Military Police Battalion

Entered the Service from: Pennsylvania
Died: 22-Oct-43
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines

     The Commanding General of the United States Eighth Army authorized the temporary naming of the first 720th Military Police Battalion installation in Nakano, then later the second in Tokyo, Japan as "CAMP BURNESS."

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