Michael John Burke

Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
26 April 1946 - 30 July 1974
Chicago, Illinois
Panel 11E Line 090


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael John Burke

27 February 1999

My mother has worn the red MIA band of Staff Sergeant Michael J. Burke, USMC, for over 10 years.

Josh Lipe

16 Nov 2001

I've been wearing Michael's bracelet for almost 12 years. This site is past due and I'm happy that my daughter told me about it. She and her brother lost their father to Agent Orange this past January. I'm grateful to all who risked their lives and gave their lives for this county.

Janet M. Hazelwood

03 Mar 2002

In Memory of Lcpl Michael J. Burke, whose bracelet I wear.
You will never be forgotten.

Corporal Jason Allen McMillon

30 Mar 2003

I've worn your bracelet for 10 years now.
Through Desert Storm and beyond you will never be forgotten.


24 Oct 2003

I have worn his bracelet since Christmas 1998 when I was on active duty myself.

Thank you for your service to our country.

Good bless the Burke family.

From a USAF veteran,
Sallie Stoner-Twyford
Jacksonville, NC

13 Jan 2004

I believe this Michael Burke was my sister's, Christine Dwyer, boyfriend/fiance. I remember Christine and I drove Michael down to Chicago's Union Station in the spring or summer of 1966. I was thirteen at the time, and I believe Michael was about to be shipped overseas. When my sister was notified that Michael was missing in action, the entire family was very sad. I do remember Michael's footlocker was in our attic of our old house on Ada Street and 94th Street, one block away from my sisters' high school, Academy of Our Lady. I remember some afternoons going through the footlocker and trying to learn Vietnamese from Michael's Viet Nam phrase book. My sister Christine died in 1983, never married. My fondest memory of Michael was when he sat down as I ate breakfast one morning and took some Cheerios from my bowl and ate them like he was a rabbit. God bless Michael and all veterans.

Michael Dwyer

20 Jan 2004

I say a little prayer each Sunday for him.

Michael Joseph Burke

07 Feb 2004

My name is 2nd Lt Ebony Sears and I am a senior at Southeast Academy Military and Law Enforcement High School in Cerritos, California. Our school is run by two retired Master Sergeants of the United States Marine Corps. I have only been wearing the bracelet of Michael J. Burke for three days now and each time I look at it I get reminded of all the people who are still over there and it makes me feel like I take a lot of things for granted. I would just like to thank MSgt Martin Schaffer and MSgt Steve Allard for educating us on the POW/MIA's. God bless them and their families, and God bless our men and women in the armed forces now!

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

4 Oct 2004

SSgt Burke- I have worn your bracelet for 5 years now, and constantly get asked what it is. Every time I tell someone your story, another person knows that you are not home yet. I carried your bracelet in my buttpack throughout my deployment to Iraq in 2003, and I know that you looked out for me.

Semper Fi

Cpl Brian Jaquith, USMC

13 Aug 2005

I have worn Staff Sergeant Burke's bracelet for just about a year now. I am 19 years old, and I would like to extend the greatest of thanks to all those who have fought, and especially those who never returned. I wear this bracelet daily, to remind myself of how lucky I truly am, because of brave men like Ssgt Burke.

Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas!


20 Sep 2005

I thought I was the only one who wore his name - Michael J Burke.

I have been wearing my bracelet for 3, almost 4, years now and keep him and always in my prayers.

I'm so glad there is more than just me remembering him this way.

God bless the Burke family,
and "Thank you", Michael.

Cynthia Weber

02 Jun 2006

I have had LCpl Burk's MIA bracelet since my senior trip in 1998. Each time I look at it I think of the sacrifice he, his family, and others in the military have given for our freedom. It brings tears to my eyes. God Bless him, his, and all those who serve.


17 Feb 2007

Godspeed to Michael and all the POW/MIAs...

Semper Fi-
Bret L. Henry
Former SSgt, United States Marine Corps

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 19 Oct 1966, Delta 1/4 Marines were on a brief R&R break before heading out for a patrol. They were located in a Regimental area near the mouth of the Cua Viet River in Quang Tri Province, about 7 miles south of the DMZ. In mid-morning, Pfc Richard E. Mishuk and LCpl Michael J. Burke asked for and received permission to go swimming in the river. Shortly thereafter they were joined by a third Marine, Pfc Leonard J. Lewandowski. When the three Marines did not return for lunch, a LCpl Ronald A. Rihaly took a look for them and spotted three men - dressed as Burke, Mishuk, and Lewandowski had been dressed - playing with a dog near a landing craft.

About three hours after the men had gone for swim call, it was noted that they could no longer be seen and that they were not in the company area. By 1400 informal search efforts had extended along the north bank of the river, and at 1530 LCpl Rihaly reported to his Company Commander that the three were missing. A search party was sent to the south bank and an O-1 Bird Dog aircraft launched for an aerial search. The three men were not located by nightfall.

Formal search and rescue operations were begun at daybreak on 20 October, with several O-1s and ground search parties involved. The searchers were unable to locate the men or any local villagers who had seen them. Formal search efforts were terminated on 22 October and Burke, Mishuk, and Lewandowski declared Missing in Action.

There were two obvious possibilities - that the three drowned in the Cua Viet River and were carried out to sea, or that they had been captured or killed by local Viet Cong forces (the area was not totally secure). No evidence was found to support either possibility; the three men had simply disappeared.

On 30 July 1974, the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Michael Burke. His remains, and those of Mishuk and Lewandowski, have never been recovered.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Josh Lipe

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Feb 1999
Last updated 07/19/2007