James Leroy Burnett
106th Infantry Division
Cpl. James Leroy Burnett, Company C, 422nd Infantry, 106th Division, "Golden Lions", served as Company Clerk.  During the German advance, the enemy overran his unit, and he was captured on December 19, 1944.

He was transported by rail to Stalag IX-B, Bad Orb, Germany; For five days he was packed into a boxcar with other POWs.  The Christmas meal was a piece of bread with cabbage soup.

When he developed pneumonia, he received the special care of Father Cavanaugh, who helped ensure his survival.

On May 12, 1945, Burnett received his liberation. 

He earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, American Theater Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with two bronze Service Stars, World War II Victory Medal, and Good Conduct Medal. 

Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. James Leroy Burnett.  Published in the "Spartanburg County in World War II", by Anita Price Davis and James M. Walker, 2004)
Appendix 6, Fr. Cavanaugh - Email by Julia B. Burnett for James Burnett, 422/C, 106th Infantry Division

My husband was part of the 422nd Regiment, Company C, he was a company clerk.

James, like many POW have blocked this out of their minds, not something they like to think about, but we do talk about it off and on.  Like now that I have heard from you.

James was captured December 19, 1944, 11 a.m.  They walked all day, until dark.  It was very cold weather and snow, but the sun was shining.  Spent the night in a bombed out church.  The night of the 20th they were put on a train (inside  a boxcar) packed with POW's. He was on the train for five days with very little to eat.  The were promised this big Christmas dinner.  Red Cross parcels when they arrived at the camp on Christmas morning, but that did not materialize, instead they were given a piece of bread and cabbage soup.

Toward the end of his captivity, James developed pneumonia and was very ill, he was placed in the barracks for the sick and there were no bunks available so he slept on the floor.  There was no medicine.  One night Fr. Cavanaugh came by said he would go get some medicine, he walked all night to some village and brought the medicine back.  James did get better and he doesn't remember seeing Fr. Cavanaugh again while there.  James said he would not have lived without the medicine.  James was liberated May 12, 1945.

James was very sick and was in and out of 27 hospitals before Doctors in Atlanta discovered he had TB.  They wanted to remove a lung, one doctor (family friend from Spartanburg) said no and luckily that new drug for TB was discovered about that time and James took 40 pills a day for two years and quarantined himself those two years at his home here.

At a ball field here in Spartanburg "Duncan Park" which still exists, James saw Fr. Cavanaugh again, this was in 1946.  Fr. C. was going through Camp Croft being discharged.  James believes that is how he remembers it.  Anyway, never saw him again after that, but wishes he had kept in touch.


Published: Pao Deo Et Patria, (for God and Country).  Robert E. Snopek, 2004.
Page last revised 04/18/2011
James D. West www.IndianaMiliary.org