Bruce Wayne Burkes

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
12 May 1948 - 05 June 1968
Kettering, Ohio
Panel 60W Line 015


Bruce W Burkes

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bruce Wayne Burkes

01 June 2003

Bruce was my only brother and I was only 10 years old when he was killed. I have but a few memories of him. I do remember that he was a kind brother and I always looked up to him. He joined the Marines because he wanted to serve his country and he gave his life in its defense. He chose to do what he felt was right. My father also served in the Marines in WWII, and I served in the U.S. Army from 1975-1984. I am very proud and lucky to have had such a wonderful brother, if only for a short time. He was only 20 years old when he gave his life in the service of his country.

He left behind a family that loved him dearly, 5 sisters and myself. It has been 35 years since he died and the pain of his loss still hurts to this day. I have tried for the last 35 years to come to terms with this, but I still hurt and am angry that I don't have my brother to share my life. I still miss him dearly and I only hope that there is a heaven and that I will some day be with him again.

To all that read this, please remember all those that gave their lives during the Vietnam war and all wars of the past. Those men and women did what was asked of them and gave their lives so that we could live as free American citizens. Never forget them.

If anyone knew and served with my brother in Charlie 1/1 I would very much like to hear from you.

Dennis A. Burkes
697 S. Monroe, Xenia, Oh 45385

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 02 June 1968 the 1st Bn, 1st Marines, was one of three battalions directed to conduct offensive operations in the vicinity of Landing Zone ROBIN south of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. 2/4 Marines was the second assault unit, while 2/3 Marines provided a blocking force. 1/1 Marines was airlifted into LZ ROBIN without incident on 02 June and began a sweep to the north on 03 June. The Battalion's initial objectives were taken with only limited enemy contact, but late in the afternoon of 05 June Charlie 1/1 engaged a near-battalion-size NVA unit dug in atop Hill 587.

The 1/1 Command Chronology for June 1968 describes the action as follows:

Company C ... encountered an NVA unit estimated as a battalion minus, entrenched in spider holes and in trees, on the topographical crest of the hill. Company C engaged the enemy with all organic weapons, while 106mm RR fire was employed from the battalion CP ... Subsequently [Hill 587] was hit by air strikes. On June 6, at 1545, Company A and C secured the objective.

The top of the hill revealed a bunker complex set in a 360 degree perimeter with trails and steps running down to the north. The position was large enough to accomodate an NVA battalion minus. ... Documents captured revealed the enemy unit to be the K15 Battalion, Second Regiment, 304th NVA Division.

Six men from Charlie 1/1 are known to have died in the assault on Hill 587:

  • LCpl Jeffery E. Feser, Seattle, WA
  • LCpl Michael W. Simon, Owensboro, KY
  • Pfc Bruce W. Burkes, Kettering, OH
  • Pfc Lonnie L. Cleave, Memphis, TN
  • Pfc Blane M. Ruby, Baltimore, MD
  • Pfc Thomas E. Walker, Charleston, SC
At sundown on 05 June, as Charlie 1/1 held ther positions on the slope of Hill 587, they had one man missing in action: Pfc Lonnie L. Cleave. Pfc Cleave's body was recovered on 06 June when Alpha and Charlie took the hilltop.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Dennis A. Burkes
697 S. Monroe, Xenia, Oh 45385
1 Jun 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/28/2005