|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (May 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
April 25, 1925|
|Died||March 23, 2017(aged 91)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1943-1945|
|Unit||506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
101st Airborne Division
|Battles/wars||World War II: Operation Overlord
Battle of the Bulge
Donald R. Burgett (April 5, 1925 – March 23, 2017) was a writer and a former World War II paratrooper. He was among the Airborne troopers who landed in Normandy early on the morning of D-Day. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, ("The Screaming Eagles"), and the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Burgett served in 'A' Company, 1st Battalion, 506th PIR as both a rifleman and a machine-gunner.
Burgett participated in Operation Overlord, parachuting into Normandy as a member of the 506th PIR, 101st Airborne. Burgett parachuted into the Netherlands, his second combat jump, as part of Operation Market-Garden with the 1st Allied Airborne Army, and fought for 72 days behind the German lines. After just a few weeks' rest, he was again sent into combat, this time at the Battle of the Bulge, where the 101st, along with Combat Command B of the U.S. 10th Armored Division and the all African-American 969th Artillery Battalion (United States) (Cld)(155mm How Trac-D) successfully held out against nine German armored divisions during the siege of Bastogne. Burgett went on to fight through Operation Nordwind, on into Germany to the Ruhr Valley, the Rhineland, and Bavaria, where he helped capture Hitler's mountain retreat in southern Germany. While in action with the 101st, Burgett was wounded three times and had his M1 rifle shot out of his hands at least twice. He was one of only eleven men out of the original 200 in his company to survive from D-Day in Normandy to the war's end.
Burgett wrote several memoirs of his time serving in the United States Army during World War II. Some were based on unpublished accounts he wrote immediately after the war, while others were compiled in later years.
- Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy, the story of Able Company of 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
- The Road to Arnhem, a first hand account of Operation Market-Garden.
- Seven Roads to Hell (Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge)
- Beyond the Rhine: A Screaming Eagle in Germany
- The Road to Arnhem: A Screaming Eagle in Holland, Donald Burgett, 1999, Presidio Press,ISBN 0-89141-682-X