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Burik Michael

Name:
Michael Burik
Rank:
Private
Serial Number:
32174434
Unit:
12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Date of Death:
1944-08-13
State:
New York
Cemetery:
Brittany American Cemetery, Saint-James, Fran
Plot:
F
Row:
13
Grave:
13
Decoration:
Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, World War II Victory Medal
Comments:

Michael Burik was born in 1915 in Upton County, New York. His actions during the Battle of Mortain are documented in the book, "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy" by Antony Beevor. Beevor writes, "The frenzy of the fighting is indicated by this extraordinary report from the 12th Infantry. Private Burik of E Company, 2nd Battalion, heard a tank approaching from the north. The tank he could see was coming down the road toward the orchard. Grabbing his bazooka he loaded it and stepped out onto the road. On his first attempt to fire the bazooka it did not go off. He found that the safety was stuck. While the tank continued to approach him, [Burik] released the safety and fired point-blank at the tank.’ The tank then fired directly at him, knocking him down and seriously injuring him. He arose, loaded the bazooka, took direct aim and fired again. The tank fired another round, knocking him down again. ‘Dragging himself up to a firing position, [Burik] loaded the bazooka a third time and from his shaky position fired at the tank. Jerry had had too much and withdrew up the hill. [Burik] with utter disregard for his own safety then tried to push another injured soldier into a foxhole.’ Burik turned and called for more bazooka ammunition, then fell unconscious along the side of the road. Later he died from his wounds." The village of Saint-Barthelemy inaugurated a monument in Burik's honor on 3 June 2017.