Col Charles William “Bill” Burkart, Jr

Col Charles William “Bill” Burkart, Jr

Selkirk, Albany County, New York, USA
Death 13 Jun 1966 (aged 35)
Khammouan, Laos
Cenotaph Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section MK Grave 286
Memorial ID 60752674 · View Source
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In Memory of Col. Charles William Burkart, Jr.
*** Arlington National Cemetery - CHARLES W BURKART JR, Col, US AIR FORCE Administration Building 06/14/2013 - 9:00 AM
*** Thank you Edna, I am always searching the internet for information on my Dad. Just to let you know, our memorial service at Arlington was unbelievable and something that we will never forget. I will send some pictures of my Dad later this week. Thank you again for your kindness. Bill
*** Colonel Burkart was a member of the 13th Bomber Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. On June 13, 1966, he was the pilot of a Martin Canberra Bomber (B-57E) on a night strike mission 8 miles southeast of Ban Som Peng in the Ban Karai Pass region of Khammouane Province, Laos, when radio contact was lost. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 46
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth May 17, 1931
Bill has a son, Charles W. Burkart III and daughter. Parents: Father, Charles William Burkart (1909 - 2003) and Mother, Florence Schade Burkart (1914 - 1994). Two sisters, Shirley Mounsey of Newnan, Georgia and Sara Ann (Sally) Burkart of Gloversville; and one brother, Robert G. Burkart and his wife Robin of Mayfield. Sister: Claudia Gretser Albrecht.

***** ( Photo of Headstone ) - Arlington Memorial headstone provided by his son. .. Charles W. Burkart, III.
June 18, 2013

***** Dad and I still miss you.....
Shirley Mounsey
He is my brother

***Angela Holloway - "Bill" as he was known to family, Bill's widow and Bill had a son and daughter that will always be affected by the price of this war, and their father will always be a hero in my eyes.

His tour began on Jun 13, 1966
Casualty was on Apr 3, 1978
Service: United States Air Force
Grade at loss: O3
Rank: Colonel
Note: Promoted while in MIA status
ID No: 231369492
MOS: 43171: Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Casualty Date: 06/13/1966
Age at Loss: 46 (based on date declared dead)
Location: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 171500N 1054500E (WE778137)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B57
Remains: Body not recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died while missing
Casualty Reason: Fixed Wing - Pilot
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land

Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - PILOT

Body was not recovered
Panel 08E - Line 44

Other Personnel In Incident: Everett O. Kerr (missing)
June 13 Burkart, Charles W Captain USAF 13th Bomb Squadron Operation Steel Tiger Laos, Khammouane Province Pilot of a B-57 lost on a nighttime bombing mission Presumptive finding of death
June 13 Kerr, Everett O O3 USAF 13th Bomb Squadron Operation Steel Tiger Laos, Khammouane Province Navigator on a B-57 lost on a nighttime bombing mission Presumptive finding of death

On 13 June 1966 then Lt. Col. Charles W. Burkart, Jr., pilot and 1st Lt. Everett O. Kerr, navigator; comprised the crew of a B-57 Canberra in a flight of 3 aircraft conducting a night strike mission against Route 911, the primary road running through the Mu Gia Pass and south in Khammouan Province, Laos. The mission identifier for this flight was Steel Tiger.

Capt. Burkart's aircraft was flying in a flight of three

The three strike aircraft departed DaNang approximately 0100 hours. Prior to reaching the target area, the flight was forced to separate due to bad weather.

Once Lt. Col. Burkhart's B-57 arrived in the target area, it rendezvoused with the rest of the flight, the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC) responsible for controlling all air operations in this region and the Forward Air Controller responsible for directing their strike mission. After checking in with the ABCCC, the strike aircraft were handed over to the FAC who directed them to proceed with their briefed mission.

At 0154 hours, the last known radio contact was established with Lt. Col. Burkart and 1st Lt. Kerr. The Canberra's crew transmitted that they were roughly 8 miles southeast of the city of Ban Som Peng at that time. Further, they did not indicate they were experiencing any difficulty with the aircraft or the mission.

During the course of the operation, other aircrews tried to establish radio contact with Lt. Col. Burkart and 1st Lt. Kerr, but were unsuccessful in doing so. When the ABCCC was also unable to establish radio contact, the pilot requested an aerial search and rescue (SAR) operation be initiated. In the poor visibility and darkness, the other aircrews saw no parachutes. They also heard no emergency radio beepers emanating from the jungle below.

At first light the SAR aircraft searched the sector in and around the area of last contact. When no trace of the missing aircraft or its crew was found along Route 911 or in the surrounding jungle covered mountains, the SAR effort was suspended. Because of the intense enemy presence throughout the entire region, no ground search was possible.

At the time the formal search was terminated, both Charles Burkart and Everett Kerr were listed Missing In Action.

At the time of last contact, the Canberra was operating just to the west of Route 911 as it ran through a densely forested long and very narrow valley with steep, rugged mountains rising up on both sides. The Xe Rangfai River weaved its way through the rugged mountains less than ¼ mile east of Route 911 at the location of loss. The entire sector was heavily defended and densely populated with communist forces.

The location was approximately 3 miles west of a Binh Tram, a way station used by communist forces as they moved along the Ho Chi Minh Trail; 8 miles northwest of Ban Thapachon, 13 miles south-southeast of Ban Senphon; 20 miles southwest of the Lao/North Vietnamese border and 24 miles south of the Mu Gia Pass. It was also 58 miles west-southwest of the major North Vietnamese port city of Dong Hoi.

When 591 Americans were released from prisoner of war camps at the end of American involvement in the war, Kerr and Burkart were not among them. Not one American held in Laos had been released.


In early 1979, thirteen years after their disappearance, Kerr and Burkart were administratively declared dead based on no specific information that they were alive.

Charles W. Burkart was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Everett O. Kerr was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period they were maintained missing.

Find A Grave contributor Allen Monasmith has sponsored your memorial for Charles Burkart.

Thank you Allen Monasmith for your sponsorship of Colonel Burkart.


Family Members

  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 28 Oct 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 60752674
  • Allen Monasmith
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col Charles William “Bill” Burkart, Jr (17 May 1931–13 Jun 1966), Find a Grave Memorial no. 60752674, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .