Newton Burdick signed up to the US Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Initially he was stationed in Louisiana as the Communications Officer for the Eighth Naval District in New Orleans. In response to the crisis in the Caribbean, the Navy ad built 1,000 small destroyers to protect American ships targeted by the German U-boats lurking up and down the Atlantic coast. More ships were sunk in the Caribbean than in any other area during the war years. Newton became the Executive Officer of one of those destroyers, escorting US ships between Guantanamo Bay and Panama. A year later Newton was assigned to the USS Titania in Gamadodo, New Guinea, where his skills at mapping coastlines helped guide many of the invasions led by General MacArthur against the Japanese in the Pacific, including the Battle of Midway. Lieutenant Commander Burdick was present at the signing of the surrender of Japan on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.