|MM1 Johnnie F Bourke was killed when a kamikaze hit the destroyer USS Evans.|
Johnnie F. Bourke never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on February 8, 1918 in Louisiana. His parents Elijah and Ida were also both born in Louisiana. His father worked as a railroad laborer and died in 1929. Johnnie worked as a newspaper boy after his father died and his mother rented out rooms. Johnnie had an older brother, a younger sister, and a younger brother who served in the army during the war. By 1940 Johnny had completed four years of high school. He moved out and lived in a boarding house and found work as an operator helper.
He enlisted in the Navy on December 18, 1941. He became a Machinist Mate First Class and was serving on the destroyer USS Evans when it was commission in December 1943. It was first assigned to antisubmarine duty and then supported the attack on Saipan in June 1944. After more antisubmarine duty it participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945. By May it was supporting the attack on Okinawa. On the night of May 10-11 Evans was on radar picket duty northwest of Okinawa when it came under attack from more than 100 Japanese planes. Four kamikazes got through and struck the ship. The crew was able to save the ship, but it lost 32 men, including MM1 Bourke.
His grave is at Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Louisiana.
Last year on this date I profiled Clark Clemons. You can read about Clark here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100