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John Jay Burney, Jr. Personal Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-211

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily contains papers, records, photos, speeches, and correspondence of John J. Burney, Jr. from his enlistment into the Army in 1943, directly from high school graduation, through the end of the 20th century.


  • Creation: 1918-1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

John J. Burney, Jr.'s reputation on the football field at New Hanover High, at the front in France and Germany, in the State House in Raleigh, and most apparent to those who faced him in the courtroom, was as a fearless, aggressive, highly focused opponent with a flair for the dramatic. He was also a Army veteran, 8th District Solicitor, and a State Senator from 10th District NC General Assemblies.

Burney, Jr. was attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 254th Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division, and after intensive training was sent to the European Theater of Operations in 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action, and also received the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. He has maintained close ties with the men he served with, and many of the residents of the towns of Colmar and Jebsheim, and was successful in his effort to erect a Jebsheim Memorial in tribute to all who fought and lost their lives there. Judge Burney and wife Betty visited Colmar and Jebsheim on the 50th anniversary of the battle, and he has returned frequently to this area in remembrance of a most important part of his life. This collection contains, papers, Journals, newsletters, personal letters, and Regimental rosters referencing continued involvement.

Burney, Jr. returned to North Carolina, and Wilmington after WWII. His family roots are thought to originate with William Burney, Sr. 1710, in Bladen County, known as Horseshoe Swamp and Middle Swamp. Actual documentation of the family line begins with James Burney known as Jas, b. circa 1773. He, his father and brother Louis, attended Wake Forest College obtaining both B.S. and LLB degrees. Both father and son served as Solicitor 8th Judicial District, and both have served as Deacon Trustee's at St. Andrews - Covenant Presbyterian Church. John Jr., was elected State Senator representing 10th District in North Carolina General Assemblies, his father became a Superior Court Judge. It was during this period as member of the State Board of Higher Education, he proposed a bill that Wilmington College be incorporated into the University of North Carolina system. He served as a Trustee at UNCW from 1981-1989, Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1982 through 1984, and Chancellor of the Search Committee in 1990. He was rewarded with a building on Campus bearing his name.


2 Containers (Contains 42 document boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by John Jay Burney, Jr. in 2003.

Digital Access

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John Jay Burney, Jr. Personal Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository