JOHN L BURGESS
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HONORED ON PANEL 9W, LINE 104 OF THE WALL

JOHN LAWRENCE BURGESS

WALL NAME

JOHN L BURGESS

PANEL / LINE

9W/104

DATE OF BIRTH

04/05/1949

CASUALTY PROVINCE

PHUOC LONG

DATE OF CASUALTY

06/30/1970

HOME OF RECORD

KINGSLEY

COUNTY OF RECORD

Grand Traverse County

STATE

MI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SP5

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN LAWRENCE BURGESS
POSTED ON 11.14.2011
POSTED BY: His sister, Peggy

Biography of John Burgess

Viola Waukazoo was the birth mother of Larry Waukazoo.
He along with two siblings were adopted to the Burgess family in Kingsley.
At the time of his adoption, he was renamed John Lawrence Burgess.
He lived and attended grades 1 through 12 at Kingsley school
He was an athlete who played basketball in high school
And in the summers he was a camp councilor.
After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army & fought in the Vietnam War.
His company was called “The Good Deal Company”.
Two weeks before his scheduled leave, he wrote his sister, of his plans to visit Australia again.
However, just before his leave, he and 5 solders were on a Command & Control Mission
Where John was the crew chief of the UHIH (Huey) helicopter.
Enemy fire hit the aircraft and the helicopter crashed & burned
near the CambodiaSouth Vietnam border.
The door gunner was thrown clear of the aircraft and believed to be the only one to survive the fiery crash.
He pulled one of the solders from the crash but the fire was so intense that he was unable to retrieve the rest of the bodies. He remained on the scene of the crash site until friendly troops arrived to secure the aircraft wreckage. The remains of the four crew members were placed in 4 body bags and evacuated. The 4 body bags were transported directly from the crash site to medical facilities located at Camp Gorvad, Phuoc Vinh, South Vietnam and later sent to the mortuary at Than San Nhut to undergo autopsies. At the mortuary, as identification was conducted, it was determined that they only had 3 sets of remains rather than four. While processing the remains at the mortuary, it was discovered that one of the body bags contained portions of the upper torso and another bag contained portions of the lower torso of the same individual. After the discovery, the bodies were combined and positive identifications were made of the 3 individuals, Douglas, Dyer and Colon-Diaz.
Than San Nhut Mortuary never received any remains correlating to SP5 Burgess and it was believed that the remains of Burgess were either burned beneath the wreckage of the aircraft or incinerated in the fire which engulfed the aircraft after it crashed. The mortuary suggested another search of the crash site area, but additional searches were not considered possible because of enemy presence in the area. When the final review of aerial photographs was made in 1973, there was no evidence of the crashed aircraft.
SP5 John L. Burgess is maintained with honor among the missing because his remains were never found to be sent home for burial in the soil for which he fought. His family grieves for his death.
In the 1990’s the Army requested D&A from one of his siblings.
His mother, Louise asked the Army to contact his sister Peggy.
D&A was sent but to this date, no word on if her D&A was matched with John.
He will remain forever young in the minds of his friends and family.
May he rest in peace.
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POSTED ON 8.2.2011
POSTED BY: Renee Pickard

A Friend

John, my brothers knew you. I knew your mom and your niece Sam(Miranda). I believe your mom never got over your loss. I may have not known you,but thru her eyes I grew to love you.Thank you John for your service ,the ultimate sacrifice. You wont be forgotten!
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POSTED ON 3.23.2008
POSTED BY: Miranda Smith

My Uncle

We have never forgotten you. We all hope that you are in a much happier place.
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POSTED ON 6.30.2005
POSTED BY: Dave Kruger, 196th LIB. 66-67

Not forgotten

John, Although we never met, I just want you to know you are not forgotten. You gave the ultimate sacrifice, your life for what you believed in. Sleep well my friend, and thank you for protecting the freedoms we have today.
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POSTED ON 2.10.2003
POSTED BY: Candace Lokey

Not Forgotten

I have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.

We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:

Candace Lokey
PO Box 206
Freeport, PA 16229
[email protected]

If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :

www.pow-miafamilies.org
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