William J. Burns was born in 1919 in Montana. He served in the 85th Squadron, 437th Troop Carrier Group as a Corporal during World War II. The Crew Chief of the C-47 #43-15655, he was killed together with his crew, in a "forced landing mid-air collision" with C-47 #42-100630. All aboard the C-47 #42-100630 survived but #43-15655 were all killed in a crash. CPL Burns is buried now in the Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France.
Crew of C-47 #43-15655:
Marshall H. Pittman - Pilot
Thomas G. Downs - Co-Pilot
William J. Burns - Crew Chief
Fritz P. Hranvolich - Radio Operator
Source of information: www.findagrave.com, www.americanairmuseum.com