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John Roland Burke
Born (1944-02-06)February 6, 1944
Died June 6, 1967(1967-06-06) (aged 23)
Place of birth Clearwater, Florida
Place of death Quang Tri, South Vietnam
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1965 - 1967
Rank Corporal
Unit 1st Battalion 26th Marines
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Navy Cross
Purple Heart

Corporal John Roland Burke (February 6, 1944—June 6, 1967) was a sniper in the United States Marine Corps. For his accomplishments he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross after he was killed in action at Khe Sanh.

Awards & decorations[edit | edit source]

Bronze star
Navy Cross
Purple Heart National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal w/ 1 service star
Military Merit Medal Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ palm Vietnam Campaign Medal

Navy Cross citation[edit | edit source]

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Sniper Team Leader with Headquarters and Service Company, First Battalion, 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam on 6 June 1967. Assigned the mission of defending an outpost on Hill 950 at Khe Sanh, Quảng Trị Province, Corporal Burke's team was taken under attack by a numerically superior enemy force. During the initial assault, Corporal Burke was wounded by an enemy grenade. Ignoring his wound, he administered first aid to a severely wounded comrade and placed him in a relatively safe position, covering the wounded man with his own body to protect him from further injury. Heeding a call for help from outside the bunker, he unhesitatingly went to the aid of another Marine. While he and a companion were moving the man to the security of the bunker an enemy grenade exploded, knocking him and his comrade into the bunker. Although seriously wounded, he moved the wounded man to a tunnel to protect him from the devastating enemy fire. With all his team members casualties, Corporal Burke unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety armed himself with grenades, and shouting words of encouragement to his men, stormed from the bunker in a valiant one-man assault against the enemy positions. While firing his weapon and throwing grenades at the enemy positions, Corporal Burke was mortally wounded. By his dauntless courage, bold initiative and devotion to duty, he was instrumental in stopping the enemy attack and saving his men from possible further injury or death, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Carlos Hathcock
  • Chris Kyle, who holds the record for the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history, with 160 kills in the Iraq War
  • Adelbert Waldron, who held the record for the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history, with 109 kills in Vietnam

References[edit | edit source]

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