William R. Burns (1941/12/10)
December 24, 1941, was not the joyful holiday that Loiya Burns had prepared for her husband.
William Richard Burns was born about 1906. No information is available as to his parents, place of birth, siblings or formative years.
Burns joined the US Navy in 1925 and throughout his naval career, he served on various ships and at several posts. He continued to advance in rank and by 1941, was a Yeoman first class.
While in the navy, he met and married Loiya Galeener of Watsonville, California. His petty officer rating afforded him an opportunity to have his wife and eleven-year old son, Dennis, accompany him in Hawaii. In June 1941 Loiya and Dennis returned to California and made their home with her parents in the Pajaro Valley.
Petty Officer First Class William Richard Burns was serving in the vicinity of the Philippine Islands on December 10, 1941, when he was killed in action or buried at sea. The telegram notifying his widow of his death arrived at the family home on Christmas Eve.
His body was never recovered and he is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery. His awards include the Purple Heart.
(ABMC; Watsonville Morning Sun December 28, 1941 1:2)