Robert H. Burton

Tomb Position


Tomb Relief

Highest Military Rank


Tomb Dates

Jan 1942 - Dec 1942


Robert Burton was a son of coal miner Robert Burton and his wife, Dora. His father served overseas in World War I as a machine gunner in the trenches of Northern France. Robert joined the Army as a 15-year-old before World War II. Fearing a life of working in the Western Maryland coal mines, he decided to join the Army in the late 1930s. His father served during World War I, and he and Robert often talked about it. Robert decided he wanted to do that. As a high school freshman, left home to join. Hoping to see the world, he was assigned no further away than Fort Howard, Maryland, just outside Baltimore. He always loved the Army, for as he said, he received so many clothes he could not carry them, had a warm place all of the time, all the food he could eat, in addition to being paid $21 a month. He sent his first $21 check home to his mother. On his 16th birthday, he was with the 12th Infantry in an Army Day parade in Washington, D.C., loving that city, he said, as only a misplaced hillbilly can love such a place. After World War II, Robert nor any of his three brothers who served would say much about their war experiences. During the war, the Burton family left coal country and came north to Mansfield, where Robert Burton Sr. got a job at Mansfield Tire. When he came home, Robert also took a job at Mansfield Tire. He quit after two weeks and said this just wasn't for him and went back in the Army. It was a wise choice. During his remaining years, Robert finished high school and earned a college degree. He also attended Officer Candidate School and became an officer. More importantly, he met his wife-to-be, Doris, a member of the Women's Army Corps. The couple had three children: Michael, Hope and Doris. Robert quickly gained work as a personnel director for Galion Community Hospital and did similar work for Mansfield General Hospital. He then signed up for personnel work with Hamilton Beach Corp. and moved to Rocky Mount, N.C. He retired and died there. Robert lost one son, Rick Hallack to a heart attack several years before. When Robert was buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery, it was like coming home. After he joined the Army, one of his assignments was to walk guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He may have been one of the youngest soldiers to ever man that celebrated post of honor. When it came to being buried in Arlington National Cemetery, he wasn't sure he measured up. He said this was a place for heroes. A place he loved, and among the soldiers there whom he still considered his brothers in arms. Robert was a proud member of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. He is buried in Section 60, grave 8655 in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Units & Campaigns

World War II
Korean War

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