28 June 1965 – U.S. forces launch the first major offensive in the Vietnam War. “In the first major offensive ordered for U.S. forces, 3,000...Read More
William Carl Buerk - KIA
Captain William Carl Buerk, who joined the U.S. Air Force from California, served with the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On April 11, 1971, Capt Buerk was the pilot of an F-100 Super Sabre (tail number 56-0937, call sign Blade. He scrambled for a combat mission over Kon Tum Province, South Vietnam. The lead aircraft in a flight of two, Capt Buerk made a diving pass at the target and was seen by both his wingman and the forward air controller (FAC) to crash in the vicinity of (GC) YB 926 194.
The wingman and FAC saw no signs of ejection and heard no radio or beeper communications. Search and rescue helicopters made several low passes over the crash site but saw no signs of survival, and a ground search could not be conducted due to enemy activity in the area. After the incident, the Air Force promoted Capt Buerk to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Buerk is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Major Buerk was never recovered. He is memorialized at the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. William is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 04w, Line 118.
- 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron/35th Tactical Fighter Wing/7th Air Force (F-100)
Awards & Decorations
United States Aviator Badge Air Force
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Military & Civilian Education