Decorated Norwich: James M. Burt ’39, Medal of Honor

February 4, 2014

Yearbook page showing a photo and prose text about James Burt of South Lee, Massachusetts

War Whoop entry for James Burt, class of 1939 and Medal of Honor recipient (click to enlarge)

James Montross Burt is one of the most esteemed alumni of Norwich University. He served in World War II and is one of the proud NU alumni to receive the Medal of Honor, our country’s highest military award. Out of the over 16 million Americans who served in World War II, only 464 received this honor. Archives and Special Collections is proud to be home to Burt’s personal papers, including records of his service and award.

While at Norwich, James Burt belonged to Theta Chi fraternity and participated in athletics (football and track) as well as serving on the staff of both the War Whoop and the Guidon. During World War II, he participated in the invasion of Normandy (D-Day) and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the 1944 Battle for Aachen. Many of his service records and citations are housed in NU Archives and Special Collections; below is an image of the General Order containing his Medal of Honor citation.

Typewritten document

General Order citing James M. Burt’s Medal of Honor, 1945 (click to enlarge)

Norwich history is full of heroes like James Burt. His classmates wrote the following about him in his senior War Whoop:

It is hard to say goodbye, but we are certain that you will succeed; let us assure you that we are proud to call you a brother cadet.

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