b. 29/09/1924 Tichnor, Arkansas. d. 01/06/1999 Hot Springs, Arkansas.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28/10/1951 Chong-dong, Korea.
In 1943, Burke was eighteen years old when he dropped out of Henderson State College now Henderson State University in Arkansas. He joined the United States Army and served two years during World War II with combat engineers in Italy. After being discharged, he joined the ROTC when he returned to Henderson State College. In 1950, he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate. After accepting his commission, he was dispatched to Korea five months later. At the time, he was the leader of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. When Chinese forces crossed the Yalu River, Burke managed to lead his platoon to safety. As a result of his action, he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, and two Purple Hearts.
1st Lt. Burke, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Intense enemy fire had pinned down leading elements of his company committed to secure commanding ground when 1st Lt. Burke left the command post to rally and urge the men to follow him toward 3 bunkers impeding the advance. Dashing to an exposed vantage point he threw several grenades at the bunkers, then, returning for an Ml rifle and adapter, he made a lone assault, wiping out the position and killing the crew. Closing on the center bunker he lobbed grenades through the opening and, with his pistol, killed 3 of its occupants attempting to surround him. Ordering his men forward he charged the third emplacement, catching several grenades in midair and hurling them back at the enemy. Inspired by his display of valor his men stormed forward, overran the hostile position, but were again pinned down by increased fire. Securing a light machine gun and 3 boxes of ammunition, 1st Lt. Burke dashed through the impact area to an open knoll, set up his gun and poured a crippling fire into the ranks of the enemy, killing approximately 75. Although wounded, he ordered more ammunition, reloading and destroying 2 mortar emplacements and a machine gun position with his accurate fire. Cradling the weapon in his arms he then led his men forward, killing some 25 more of the retreating enemy and securing the objective. 1st Lt. Burke's heroic action and daring exploits inspired his small force of 35 troops. His unflinching courage and outstanding leadership reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
Section 7A, Grave 155