Burke, Kevin Gail, 1LT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
Service Years
1966 - 1968


First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Anita, IA
Last Address
Anita, IA

Casualty Date
Nov 20, 1968
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Quang Nam (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Atlantic Cemetery - Atlantic, Iowa
Wall/Plot Coordinates
38W 014

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1966, Infantry Officer Candidate School (Fort Benning, GA)
 Unit Assignments
23rd Infantry Division (Americal)4th Battalion, 31st Infantry 196th Infantry Brigade (Light)
  1968-1968, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1968-1968, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry /A Company
  1968-1968, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Notre Dame
  1962-1966, University of Notre Dame
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting



The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Kevin Gail Burke (0-5539311), First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Brigade, Americal Division. First Lieutenant Burke distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 20 November 1968 as a platoon leader on a combat sweep operation near the village of Tan My in Quang Tin Province. During a battle with a large force of North Vietnamese regulars, Lieutenant Burke volunteered to lead fifteen men to rescue several wounded and dead comrades who lay at the base of a hill. Throwing hand grenades and firing his rifle, he came within twenty meters of the hostile positions as he worked his way down the hill. After reaching the casualties, he supervised their evacuation and remained behind to provide covering fire, killing at least five of the communists. When his men had escaped, Lieutenant Burke attempted to rescue a seriously injured man who lay next to an enemy bunker. Braving North Vietnamese machine gun fire, he charged the fortification and while returning fire with his rifle, was mortally wounded by the hostile fusillade. First Lieutenant Burke's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 392 (February 4, 1969)


Tell A Tale of Iowa (Brown, Wallace-Homestead Book Co., Radnor, PA) "In the early dawn of November 20, 1968, near the tiny village of Tan My in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam, Lt. Kevin G. Burke of Anita, Iowa, volunteered to lead a rescue mission to attempt to reach several men from another company who were pinned down by enemy fire. "Lt. Burke carried two injured men to safety and then charged the enemy fortification, again braving heavy fire to attempt to rescue a seriously injured man who lay next to an enemy bunker. As he neared the wounded soldier a single enemy shot found its mark and instantly killed Lt. Kevin Burke. "At the age of 24, Kevin Burke, a son of Iowa, a star in athletics, an award winning public speaker, a graduate of Notre Dame, a man of many friends, and a youth whose future held unbounded promise, died the death of a hero in a foreign land while trying to save the life of a man he didn't even know. "During his funeral on December 7, 1968, the anniversary of the start of another war, the whole town of Anita turned out in a solemn honor guard at a round the clock vigil to honor the memory of its fallen son. Later the Department of the Army awarded Lt. Burke the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military decoration, as well as the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. "This book then, is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Kevin G. Burke, who, by the manner in which he lived and by the manner in which he died, proved he was a hero all the way."
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