Burkart, Charles William, Jr., Col

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1966, 35th Tactical Fighter Wing
Service Years
1952 - 1966
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MSgt Gerald Lamirand (Jerry) to remember Burkart, Charles William, Jr., Col.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Da Nang AB

Casualty Date
Jun 13, 1966
MIA-Finding of Death
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Not Specified
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Senior)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
13th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical 35th Tactical Fighter Wing
  1966-1966, 1115F, 13th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical
  1966-1966, 35th Tactical Fighter Wing
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-57 Canberra  
  1966-1966, B-57 Canberra
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

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.

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 (FAC) 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.

Added Feb 2010.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.



The B57 Canberra was one of the aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force to bomb
the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Canberra first came to the Vietnam theater at the
time of the Gulf of Tonkin incident om 1964. It proved to vulnerable and
difficult to repair for working targets over North Vietnam, but proved
effective in the armed reconnaissance Trail operations of Operation Steel
Tiger. The Canberra was sometimes used in conjunction with other, more
sophisticated aircraft, such as the C130, and was especially effective on
night missions.

Capt. Charles W. Burkart Jr. was the pilot and Capt. Everett O. Kerr the
navigator of a B57 Canberra assigned a night strike mission over Laos on
June 13, 1966. Capt. Burkart's aircraft was flying in a flight of three

Prior to reaching the target area, the flight became separated due to bad
weather. The last known radio contact from Burkart and Kerr was
approximately 50 minutes after takeoff at Da Nang. Their approximate
location was about 8 miles southeast of the city of Ban Som Peng in the Ban
Karai Pass region of Khammouane Province, Laos.

Despite search efforts, no aircraft wreckage was located, and no emergency
beeper signals were detected. Burkart and Kerr were classified Missing in

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.

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