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Page 735 (Medals of Honor Citations 1968 )

Appendix D

Medals of Honor

Citations 1968

The President of the United States in the

name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously




for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity

at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty for service as a

Machine Gunner with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, First

Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on 17 May 1968. While on Operation

Allen Brook, Company I was approaching a dry river bed with a heavily wooded

treeline that bordered the hamlet of Le Nam (l), when they suddenly came under

intense mortar, rocket propelled grenade, automatic weapons and small arms fire

from a large, well concealed enemy force which halted the company's advance and

wounded several Marines. Realizing that key points of resistance had to be

eliminated to allow the units to advance and casualties to be evacuated. Private

Burke, without hesitation, seized his machine gun and launched a series of one

man assaults against the fortified emplacements. As he aggressively maneuvered

to the edge of the steep river bank, he delivered accurate suppressive fire upon

several enemy bunkers, which enabled his comrades to advance and move the

wounded Marines to positions of relative safety. As he continued his combative

actions, he located an opposing automatic weapons emplacement and poured intense

fire into the position, killing three North Vietnamese soldiers as they

attempted to flee. Private Burke then fearlessly moved from one position to

another, quelling the hostile fire until his weapon malfunctioned. Obtaining a

casualty's rifle and hand grenades, he advanced further into the midst of the

enemy fire in an assault against another pocket of resistance, killing two more

of the enemy. Observing that a fellow Marine had cleared his malfunctioning

machine gun, he grasped his weapon and moved into a dangerously exposed area and

saturated the hostile treeline until he fell mortally wounded. Private Burke's

gallant actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United

States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Page 735 (Medals of Honor Citations 1968 )