NEWBERRY — The Sons of Confederate Veterans, John M. Kinard Camp, will be hosting a visit to the Post by T. Moffatt Burriss, Maj. USA (Ret.). A well-known successful Columbia businessman, Burris graduated from Clemson in 1940 and served as a paratrooper in Europe from 1942 to1945 in the renowned 82nd Airborne Division.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with fellowship and the meeting will be at 7 p.m. with a half hour of fellowship before. After brief Camp proceedings, Burris will discuss some of his experiences as a soldier in World War II.
Address of the Post is 148 Legion Road off Highway 34 in Newberry. Please call Camp Commander Allen Tarver with any questions at 944-4214.
Burriss tells incredible war stories. He can tell you what it was like to shoot the lock off a door to liberate prisoners confined in a concentration camp, and how he convinced a three-star German general to surrender his entire corps to two men in a jeep. He can also give you a first-person account of what it was like to be among one of the first Americans to enter Berlin following the surrender of Germany.
Burris, 92,who hails from Chapin, describes extraordinary tales of heroism in many pivotal battles like Anzio Beach, Sicily, Battle of the Bulge and Nijmegen while serving overseas in the 82nd Airborne with the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment from May 1943 to September 1945. He shares details of battles fought against overwhelming odds. Even while sustaining a tremendous number of casualties, his assault troops maintained their fighting spirit.
It was at Nijmegen, during Operation Market-Garden, Burris’ unit again fought against tremendous odds in a heroic attempt to secure the bridge over the Waal River. This battle was depicted in a 1974 book and a few years later became a movie, both entitled, “A Bridge Too Far.” The loss of American lives there was tremendous. In 2000, Burriss published his memoirs, entitled “Strike and Hold.” In the prologue he describes his need to “come to terms with war by talking about it and reliving it with men who’ve shared similar experiences.”
After years of participating in reunions and corresponding with former Army buddies he made the journey back to the battle sites that stirred so many memories. While visiting Nijmegen, Holland, in 1993, Burriss was invited by local leaders to return the following year for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Holland for a reenactment of the crossing of the Waal River.
On Sept. 19, 1994, Burriss again made the airborne jump into Holland just shy of his 75th birthday. He returned 25 years later to make the jump at 90. The fact that the people of Holland had not forgotten the Americans who liberated their country made a huge impression. He discovered that fresh flowers adorn the numerous monuments dedicated to the American Soldiers who died there.