In Memory of SSGT Paul Burkey   ........  Acting 3rd Platoon Leader


Paul Eugene Burkey..... 68

Died: Sept. 7th, 2017 in New Middletown, OH

Born: July 18th, 1949


Currahee Motto ____________ 101st&506th_______

Paul Eugene Burkey,

NEW MIDDLETOWN OH – Paul Eugene Burkey, 68, passed away at 8:12 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, at his home, with family by his side, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Paul was born July 18, 1949, a son of the late Eugene and June Burkey.  A Lowellville graduate, Paul was the owner of Leeson Auto Body for 25 years. Paul is survived by his wife, Patricia (Bovo) Burkey; daughter Heather (Ryan) Cozart; granddaughters Delaney and Audrey; sister Kathy (Dave) Piper; and numerous family and friends. Paul was also preceded in death by his sister, Diane Burkey.

Paul bravely served as Staff Sergeant for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. A member of the 101st Airborne, he served with Charlie 2-506 from November of 1969 through October of 1970 as a squad leader, platoon sergeant, and the acting platoon leader. He received three Bronze Stars with “V” device during his time with the 506th, while performing duties as acting platoon leader for five months.  Paul is featured in the book, RIPCORD Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970, by Keith W. Nolan.  

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Staton-Borowski Funeral Home, 962 North Road NE in Warren.

Paul's Obituary can be found at:

Pal's Fund Raiser

I'm sad to hear this news about Paul. Myself , Bob Lister, Frank Masko had the pleasure and honor to sit and talk to Paul at a benefit for him, all three of us came in country just before he left VietNam. Also sitting with us that day was Bob Smoker and Gary Radford. It was a afternoon we will not forget. His wife and daughter told they didn't really understand what 101st brotherhood was, until they saw Paul's reaction, when the five of us showed up, they told us after , that Paul had never talk about VietNam before, not even to them or the people in town, and for Paul to finally have someone to talk about it (he basically said you guys sit down, we are going to talk and talk without interruption, the place was packed) his wife and daughter sat an listen to all of us, they couldn't thank us enough afterwards. Currahee Brother Paul Burkey!      Dave Simonds 

Pauls Sign

During the Battle of Firebase Ripcord, Paul was recognized as an exceptional leader and a great jungle fighter. The veterans of Co. C will forever hold SSG Paul Burkey in very high regards.


For both of us being at Ripcord, I did not see a whole lot of Paul in the field, as Third Platoon almost never operated with First Platoon. Saw him at the early June stand down at Evans. Having said that, he had the reputation of being the best.  After Jim Campbell went from 3rd Platoon to 2nd platoon, there was never another officer leading "Third Herd".  Paul was the defacto platoon leader until his DEROS and LT Pitetti took over.  I believe this correct.  Frank Bort characterized Paul as one of the best jungle fighters ever.  RIP Brother.

Bob Leibecke

From: Rick Walsh <>
Date: September 13, 2017 at 9:06:56 AM MDT
To: Frank Marshall <>

Subject: The passing of Paul Burkey C/2-506

Frank - I appreciate the notice of this very sad news. I knew from previous emails Burkey was receiving treatment for lung cancer and wasn't doing very well. Burkey was one of those guys everybody liked. He was a great friend and leader. I walked a lot of Point for Burkey, he called me the "Birdman". I have many memories with Burkey good, bad and funny also a few photos I think I have a couple of us at Eagle Beach. I've shed a few tears and said many prayers for Paul since I received your email. My thoughts and prayers for Paul's family. Frank I hope all is well with you and your family. __ Rick Walsh C/2-506

Subject: Looking out for his Boys

I had the unenviable responsibility of replacing probably one of the best platoon leaders that served in Charlie Company, Sergeant Paul Burkey.  I took over 3rd platoon on FSB Rakkasan in early August, right after Ripcord.  At that time, Paul was about to DEROS and he was running supplies out to us on Rakkasan.  He sought me out on about the 3rd day I was the “official” platoon leader.  He approached me and asked, “You Lieutenant Pitetti?”.  “Yes,” I answered, not knowing who the hell this guy was.  He took out a cigarette and lit it, then looked at me and said, “You take care of my boys, you hear me Lt.  You take care of third platoon.”    I did my best, Sergeant Burkey. I did my best.       Ken Pitetti



"Thank you brother for a job well done".  Until we meet again my friend ..... "Currahee"......"Stands Alone"

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