- Second World War (1939-1945)
- 1st Lieutenant
- 118th Field Artillery Battalion, 30th Infantry Division "Old Hickory" (118th Field Artillery Battalion, 30th Infantry Division "Old Hickory" U.S.Army)
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 118th Field Artillery Battalion, 117th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 4 October, 1944, in Germany. On that date Lieutenant Burke was serving as a forward observer for the 118th Field Artillery Battalion which was supporting the 117th Infantry Regiment in an assault upon the Siegfried Line. The enemy launched a determined counterattack throughout an active front which threatened to overrun positions. After he had delivered effective artillery fire upon the enemy in his sector, Lieutenant Burke learned that the forward observer at another post had become a casualty and the enemy was succeeding in counterattacking the sector which had no effective artillery support. Voluntarily and in the face of seemingly certain death, he left his position and moved over a route which was being subjected to extremely heavy enemy fire, including direct fire from a German tank. Arriving at the observation post at which his fellow observer had been wounded, he discovered that it was now occupied by the enemy. Moving in to the vicinity of the first company he had supported, he selected an observation post on the third floor of a building from which he directed effective artillery fires which turned the hostile attack into a decisive defeat. An estimated regiment of the foe was defeated in its attack on a single infantry company. First Lieutenant Burke's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 30th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, Ninth U.S. Army, General Orders No. 72 (1944).