Robert Charles BurkePrivate First Class
I CO, 3RD BN, 27TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
07 November 1949 - 17 May 1968
Panel 61E Line 024
The database page for Robert Charles Burke
PFC Robert C. Burke was, by MOS, a Marine mechanic with the soul and esprit of a machine gunner. Assigned to India Company, 3/27 in February 1968 he accepted and relished his new role as an M60 man. During Operation Allen Brook in May 1968, he saved the lives of literally dozens of his fellow Marines by his single handed assault against well entrenched and fortified NVA bunkers.
His actions resulted in as many as three dozen wounded 3/27 Marines being rescued from a seemingly hopeless situation, pinned down by small arms and machine gun fire in the scorching sun on Go Noi Island. He lost his life to enemy fire shortly after his heroic actions of May 17 earned for him the nation's highest award, the Medal of Honor. The Medal is displayed along with other Burke artifacts in the Piatt County, Illinois Courthouse in what is now a shrine in honor of Robert C. Burke, a true American Hero.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 16 May 1968 India Company, 3/27 Marines, was placed under operational control of 3rd Bn, 7th Marines and inserted into the vicinity of Le Nam hamlet on Go Noi Island as part of Operation ALLEN BROOK. The remainder of 3/27 was to arrive on the 17th.
Early on the 17th India 3/27 was heavily engaged with an NVA battalion and began taking serious casualties. Meanwhile, the arrival of 3/27's other rifle companies was delayed due to a lack of airlift assets; the first elements of Kilo 3/27 were not airborne until about 1300 and the lift was not completed until 1730. Even so, the arrival of the first elements relieved some pressure on India 3/27, and a move to contact by Kilo, Lima, and Mike companies allowed a link-up with India by 1930.
Overall, 28 Marines and sailors were killed in action on Goi Noi Island on 17 May, 21 of them from India 3/27:
Robert Burke's courage has been remembered by both the Marines and his community - Burke Hall (Building 626), Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, is named for him, while Monticello, Illinois, has dedicated the Robert C. Burke Memorial Park to him.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a fellow 3/27 Marine,
Terry W. Rigney
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Aug 2007
Last updated 03/05/2008