Gen. Burnell was photographed with Gen. Eisenhower on D-Day in a famous photo.
This full dress hat belonging to Brigadier General Nathaniel Alanson Burnell- 52nd Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade, and two original WWII foreign decoration award certificates, the other research material make up this lot.
Made by N.S. Meyers, N.Y. circa 1957, this is a fine quality hat with not much room left for anymore gold braid. Gen. Burnell tore a piece of paper off of a document with his name on it to identify his hat. The hat shows very little wear, with only a few minor moth tracks on crown.
The documents are for the French Order of the Army certificate, awarded 18 August, 1945 with the facsimile signatures of Charles de Gaulle, and Gen. A. Juin.
The next document is the Belgium Commander of the Order of Leopold II with Palm, and the War Cross 1940 with Palm as well. This certificate is facsimile signed as well by the Minister of National Defense.
At one time there were letters with the lot, and in one of them Burnell mentions, “My last note was written while I was on my way to visit the airborne troops which initiated the invasion. We talked to the leader of the Pathfinders forces……” The last collector found in the rear of the famous photo of Ike with the pathfinders, Gen. Burnell standing there looking on. That section of the letter has been copied and is in this collection.
Accompanying the group is very copy photos of Gen. Burnell, and information on his career, and some of the higher decorations he received during his career, most coming during WWII.
Burnell was born on September 13, 1897 in Westbrook, Maine. He served in the Coast Artillery after leaving West Point (Class of 1919). In WWII he commanded 613th CA, 1942-43; Promoted to Brig. Gen. in Sept, 1943 and given the command of the 74th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade, and the 52nd AAA Brigade, and finally the 31st AAA Brigade. After the war he reverted back to his Regular Army rank of Colonel in March of 1946. He retired with the rank of Brigadier General on August 1957. He pass away on June 27th, 1976, and is buried at Arlington Cemetery.