GEORGE J BURD - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- February 05, 1948
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- December 23, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
George James Burd was born on February 5, 1948, in Mt. Pleasant, PA. People called him Jimmy and remember him by his affable smile. He was the eldest of three children. He had two younger sisters, Judy and Mary Jean. His family moved to Hightstown, NJ, in 1964, where Jimmy attended Hightstown High School. His home of record is Hightstown, NJ.
He graduated from high school in 1966, with fellow friends, George Porubski and Richard Reach. In the high school yearbook, a caption below Jimmy's name read, "It's hard to find Jim without a smile on his face. This amiable senior is college-bound, but right now his time is usually taken up by parties, girls and cars." Friends and family members said Jimmy was always the "life of the party whom everyone wanted to be around."
In February 1968, Jimmy enlisted in the US Marines with his good friend, Richard Reach. They decided to enlist together so they could stay in the buddy system during basic training. In late July 1968, Jimmy was sent to Vietnam where he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
On August 23, 1968, Jimmy's platoon fought the Vietcong near the South End of Cam Lay Bridge in the Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. A rocket hit his lower right leg and caused severe damage. In a letter to his family he wrote, "My leg wouldn't have been anything more than a crease except for the fact that I laid in the rice patties for nine hours after I got hit." After the nine-hour struggle, Jimmy was rescued and was sent to Tokyo, Japan, for surgery. He received a Purple Heart for his courageousness, bravery and determination.
After being in Tokyo, he was sent to Okinawa for recovery. In October 1968, he came back to his battalion; however, in November 1968, he went to the Vietnam language school. After learning the language, he was sent to DaNang where he was a PVC Marine, stationed under the First Military Police Battalion Company "D", Force Logistics Command. His task was to protect air bases and main bridges for supply routes.
On December 23, 1968, Burd was killed while attempting to settle a dispute over a traffic mishap involving American soldiers riding in an Army vehicle that almost collided with a vehicle housing three Korean soldiers. Jimmy was stationed at the sentry post where the dispute was settled. Corporal Kim Jae Sik, the Korean driver, and SP4 Class William M. Fowler, the passenger in the American vehicle, attempted to settle the traffic dispute. During the negotiations, Corporal Kim tapped his pistol on the counter twice, and during the second tap a bullet was released from the gun. It hit Jimmy's upper lip and killed him.
Jimmy Burd will never be forgotten by any of his friends and family members. His bravery, mischievous twinkle in his eye and ingenuity will be admired and treasured by those who knew him best.
Sources: Kathryn Porubski (Monmouth University Student) and NJVVMF.
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