MOH : Private First Class Robert C. Burke


BURKE

Citation :

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 May 17, 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 (1), when they suddenly came under intense mortar, rocket propelled grenades, 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 First Class Burke, without hesitation, seized his machine gun and launched a series of one man assaults against the fortified emplacement. 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 First Class 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. 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 First Class 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.

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