McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

August 15, 2013

McAlester general to be inducted into military hall of fame

McALESTER —

A retired four-star general born in McAlester will be inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in November.

General Edwin Hess Burba, Jr., 76,  is a retired four-star general who served as Commander-In-Chief of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) from 1989 to 1993. 
Burba will be inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame Nov. 9 in Oklahoma City.
Burba said he was born in McAlester and moved away while in grade-school but returned often to spend time with his grandfather Roy Johnson on Sandy Ridge.
He recalled working on his grandfather’s farm and getting up early in the morning to milk the cows.
“I would ride with my grandfather on a one horse slay out to the penitentiary where he worked,” Burba said.
“The people of McAlester are wonderful, I have wonderful memories.”
Burba is the son The son of Maj. Gen. Edwin Burba  deputy commanding general of the First US Army at Fort Meade.
Born Sept. 13, 1936,  Burba Jr. attended grade school in McAlester during the war years, but remembers that time fondly.
He said he remembered the War Bond drives in McAlester and the metal drives when children collected metal for use in the War effort .
“Some of my most vivid memories of my boyhood were in McAlester,” Burba said.
 “I feel my roots are there. When I come back to Oklahoma, I feel deeply involved … deep rooted. I’m very proud.” 
During World War II  Burba Jr.s’ father was an Army Major General and was wounded in North Africa. 
He said he and his Mother went to Fort Hood, Texas, to be near his father until he recovered from his wounds and went to Europe and the war. 
Then he and his mother returned to McAlester and that’s when he learned about his other grandfather who died before Burba Jr. was born.

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