UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

The World War II Service of Maj. Edwin D. Burwell

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Edwin D. Burwell III (known as Edwin D. Burwell Jr. by the Burwell family) was born on November 9, 1916 in Huntsville, Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama and graduated from the engineering program in 1937. During his time at UA, Burwell served in Army ROTC. After working as an engineer for a few years, he was transferred to U.S. Army active duty in 1941, first joining the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion and then the 1108th Engineer Combat Group. He trained in the U.S., Algeria, and England, and he saw combat in Italy and in the Rhineland in Germany and Belgium. During his service, Burwell documented his surroundings extensively using his Leica camera. Having found a passion for photography, Burwell opened Universal Photo Shop after his return to Huntsville in 1946.

Burwell died on August 11, 1974. His son, Dudley (b. 1943), digitized all of his photographs as a tribute to his father, and donated the scans and the original film to UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives beginning in 2018. The collection includes home movies, photographs, and Edwin D. Burwell's military service records.

Scroll through the timeline and click on the events and points on the map to explore Maj. Burwell's story.

Charlie Gibbons, Digital Archivist
UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives
September 2023