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Burch, Kenneth E.

Specialist Kenneth Burch distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 27 June 1969, while serving as a rear scout with Company H (Ranger), 75th Infantry (Airborne) during a long range patrol in Phouc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam. As his patrol waited in a night ambush position, a large enemy force approached their location. Specialist Burch engaged the enemy, wounding one of the insurgents. The enemy then attempted to overrun the ambush position. Specialist Burch waited until the enemy had reached his position and then fired a claymore with devastating effect. As armed helicopters arrived over the patrol's position to support the besieged patrol, Specialist Burch exposed himself to the hostile fire to mark the location with flares. As his position was approached form the rear, Specialist Burch stood up and began throwing grenades upon the enemy positions. When the patrol's supply of signaling devices was exhausted, Specialist Burch held a strobe light aloft to signal the helicopter gunships and mark the patrol's position. He received a painful wound in the arm but remained in an exposed position to mark the patrol's location. His gallant action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army. For gallantry in action on this day, Specialist Four Kenneth Burch was awarded the nation's third highest valor medal, the Silver Star. For his wound during this combat action, Specialist Burch was awarded the Purple Heart.