BURKS, LEROY, JR.
Rank / Branch:
PFC E-3, U.S. ARMY
FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS
Awards & Decorations:
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LEROY BURKS, JR., PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U. S. ARMY, SAN ANGELO, TOM GREEN COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Leroy Burks, Jr. was born in San Angelo, Texas to Mozelle Price and Leroy Burks, Sr. He attended San Angelo schools and graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 1965. While at San Angelo Central, he was a member of the Speed Reading Club, the Mixed Choir and he played varsity baseball. He also played sandlot baseball during the summers. After high school, he worked at Shannon Hospital and for the River Terrace Country Club.
San Angelo Central High School, 1964
He enlisted in the Army January 1966 telling his family that he wanted to be a man and serve his country. He completed his basic training and AIT at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Just before leaving for Vietnam and just as he got on the bus from his leave home, he told his mother that "he was still brave, and I am still not scared."
Leroy Burks, Jr. San Angelo Central High School-1965
He began his tour in Vietnam on July 25, 1966 and was assigned as an infantryman with D Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division based at Camp Radcliff, Ahn Khe in the Binh Dinh Province. This unit was an Armored Infantry Battalion.
On November 1, 1966, PFC Burk's squadron was one of several companies of the 9th Cavalry Regiment who were engaged in a bitter fight with the 93rd Battalion, 2d V.C. Regiment at Dam Tra-O, 16 kilometers southeast of Bong Son, Binh Dinh Province. He was killed by small arms fire and was one of 12 Cavalry Troopers killed. According to the telegram that his family received, Leroy was the point man and he was shot by a sniper. He had been in Vietnam approximately four months and had written his grandmother, Mrs. Willie Mae Crain of San Angelo that time was passing by quickly.
PFC Burks' remains were escorted home by his uncle, PSG Booker T. Washington U.S. Army, who was serving near Saigon. He was buried with full military honors in the Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas. At the time of his death, the newspaper article in the San Angelo Standard Times stated that PFC Leroy Burk was the first San Angeloan to die in Vietnam. However, it was later discovered that another San Angelo resident, 1LT Charles Milton Fitts had died in Vietnam in a hostile helicopter crash in 1963.
PFC Burks was survived by his mother, Mrs. Mozelle Morrison of San Angelo, his two brothers, James Jerome Morrison of San Angelo and Anthony Morrison of Anson; five sisters, Mrs. Curtis Williams, Willie Jean Morrison, Linda Demetra Morrison, and Sherry Morrison all of San Angelo. At the time of Leroy's death, his sister, Sherry was living with their aunt, Ann McDaniel. He was also survived by his grandmothers, Mrs. Crain and Mrs. Mabell Burks both of San Angelo.
Fairmount Cemetery, San Angelo, Texas