Every year the world is left with fewer and fewer WWII veterans. Fortunately for us all, 97-year-old combat veteran T. Moffat Burriss is still with us.
A member of the 82nd Airborne Division, Burriss fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Market Garden, the battles of Salerno and Anzio, and helped free prisoners from Nazi concentration camps. Robert Redford’s character Major Cook in the 1977 classic WWII movie “A Bridge Too Far” was based on Burris. “Arnhem wasn’t a bridge too far as depicted in the book and movie,” Burriss once said in an ETV documentary. “There was a general who was not willing to go far enough.”
In April of 1945 Captain Burriss was just 24-years-old and he had already seen more than his fair share of combat. The allies were closing in on Berlin and the war in Europe was almost over. Captain Burriss was one of the many US officers who received orders directly from General Dwight Eisenhower to stand down and let the Russian Army take control of Berlin.
“But I said: ‘I can’t stand this any longer.’ I got in my Jeep with the lieutenant and sergeant and said, ‘Let’s go across the river and see what we can see, see if there are some [krauts] still over there,’” Burriss said in an interview with Fox News.
Capt. Burriss and his two men were not prepared for what they found, a 15,000 man Nazi Panzer Corps. What Burriss did next has become the stuff of legend. Listen to this incredible man tell the story in his own words with the video below.