U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin were among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony marking the renaming of the The Howell Post Office at 325 S. Michigan Ave. in honor of Sergeant Donald R. Burgett, the Howell resident and author who fought in some of the most-famous battles of World War II.
Howell Mayor Nick Proctor also proclaimed June 14 as “Donald R. Burgett Day” in Howell.
Burgett — a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division — served as a rifleman and machine-gunner in the 1st Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, fighting throughout the European theater. He parachuted into Normandy during the D-Day seaborne invasion, and into the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden; he was at the center of the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest land battles of World War II; and he helped capture Hitler’s mountain retreat in southern Germany.
He was wounded three times during the war, and was one of just 11 of the original 200 members of his company to be alive at the end of the war.
He went on to pen four memoirs: “Curahee”: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy”; “The Road to Arnhem,” a first-hand account of Operation Market Garden; “Seven Roads to Hell,” about the Battle of the Bulge; and “Beyond the Rhine: A Screaming Eagle in Germany.”
Burgett was also an active member of the VFW, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans, and he often spoke to high school classes about his experiences during the war.
Other elected officials present at the ceremonyincluded State Sen. Lana Theis, State Rep. Hank Vaupel, State Rep. Ann Bollin, and members of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.