Thomas Burke (Medal of Honor)
|Died||April 23, 1899 (aged 65–66)|
|Place of burial||John Howard Cemetery, Washington, D.C.|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Unit||USS De Soto|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
A native of Ireland, Burke immigrated to the U.S. and joined the Navy from the state of New York. By May 10, 1866, he was serving as a seaman on the USS De Soto. On that day, while the De Soto was off the coast of Eastport, Maine, he and two shipmates rescued two sailors from the USS Winooski from drowning. For this action, he and his shipmates, Seaman Richard Bates and Captain of the Afterguard John Brown, were awarded the Medal of Honor three months later, on August 1.
Burke's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
For heroic conduct, with 2 comrades, in rescuing from drowning James Rose and John Russell, seamen, of the U.S.S. Winooski, off Eastport, Maine, 10 May 1866.
- "Medal of Honor recipients - Interim Awards, 1866-1870". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Thomas Burke (1833 - 1899)". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. March 19, 2004. Retrieved July 15, 2010.