James Francis Burke, Jr

United States Navy
04 December 1944 - 01 August 1967
Yonkers, NY
Panel 24E Line 058

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
James F Burke

The database page for James Francis Burke, Jr

25 Mar 2001

Remembered from flight training

A nice guy who thought helicopters were neat. I didn't know what happened to him until today - by accident I found that he was assigned to Helicopter Light Attack Squadron 3 in the Mekong Delta area, flying support for the Riverine forces. Det 3, HA(L)-3 was at Vinh Long Airfield, and Jim died while flying with an Army outfit , the 114th Assault Helicopter Company, also based at Vinh Long. He was the co-pilot of a UH-1C (hull number 66-00651).

They had been the command and control ship on a night "firefly" mission, conducting armed recon with two gunships. On return to base, they encountered a violent thunderstorm just short of the Vinh Long runway, lost control, and crashed. The gunships had landed first, avoiding the worst of the storm.

Five men were aboard the aircraft; four died in the crash:

  • 1LT Paul S. Colvin, Culpeper, VA, pilot, 114TH AHC, 13th Avn Bn

  • ENS James F. Burke, Yonkers, NY, copilot, HA(L)-3, TF 116

  • SP4 Ernst Riley, Kuttawa, KY, crew chief, 114TH AHC, 13th Avn Bn

  • CPT Gustave F. Gudleske, Rhinelander, WI, Advisory Team 52, MACV Advisors

The fifth, door gunner Cpl T. E. Fluery, was injured but survived.

God rest their souls.

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The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Ken Davis
25 Mar 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 01/19/2004