A World War II hero who may have helped change the course the of battle against Nazi Germany has died at the age of 99, according to reports.
U.S. Army veteran T. Moffatt Burriss was one of the first Americans to enter Berlin during the war and was one of the few Americans to cross the Elbe River before the Germans surrendered, according to the National World War II Museum. He is known for tricking more than 15,000 German troops into surrendering.
Burriss’ unit, the 82nd Airborne Division, was assigned to a mission along with British forces to capture bridges in Nazi-controlled territory in 1944, South Carolina-based newspaper The State reported.
Very sad to hear that my good friend Moffatt Burriss passed away at the incredible age of 99.
Moffatt was a certified World War II hero and one of the driving forces for South Carolina business throughout his entire life. https://t.co/W5mB8Mawk6
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 4, 2019
In 1945, when Burriss was a 24-year-old captain, he needed to think quickly when he and his men suddenly encountered great danger.
“We drove about 40 miles, about halfway to Berlin, and ran head-to-head into a German armored corps … and probably 15,000 or so troops. I needed a plan, and quick,” he said during a motivational speech delivered at the U.S. Army leadership course in 2011.