In Memory


Steve Burch

June 15, 1951 - March 5, 1971

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06/09/09 08:23 PM #5    

James Gray

Steve was a good bud,he is missed.

06/12/09 10:21 AM #6    

Sue Bauer (Madland)

I remember Steve as a very nice, gentle guy. It's so sad he died so young. He's a hero for serving our Country...
Sue Madland (Bauer)

07/22/09 09:47 PM #7    

Thomas Erie

I did not know Steve very well,but he and his family have my deepest respect for giving his all for our country. I had a very high draft number, 308, which I was grateful to get. It was an brutal war and I deeply respect all that were drafted and volunteered. I,too, was at the Vietnam Memorial wall and also was greatly moved.
Tom Erie

07/22/09 11:09 PM #8    

Dee Hiler (Dillon)

Steve and I were neighbors and I have so many great memories of growing up together. My heart goes out to his family because I know what it is to lose a child and whether it was 40 years ago or 14, I'm sure to them it feels like yesterday. We lost him and so many others much too soon. God Bless them.

09/18/15 07:50 AM #9    

Gerald Rehr

I just read this about Steve.  He was a friend and fellow Army Guy.  It brought a tear to my eye after all these years. 

RIP Buddy.



09/19/17 08:37 PM #10    

Thomas Heckel

I found the story on Steve and thought I'd post it.


WO1 Steven R. Burch
15 Jun 51
05 Mar 71
St Paul MN

WO1 Patrick D. Erb
06 Jul 49
15 Mar 71
Sylmcar CA

This was WO1 Erb's first aircraft commander mission. On 25 Feb 71 they were resupplying troops on or near a pinnacle LZ (LZ Scotch), which is near the Rockpile. LZ Scotch was obscured by smoke from Laos, had marginal visibility, dead trees around the approach, and a departure route that limited maneuvering. A major firefight was being fought at the base of the pinnacle, and the Dolphin aircraft was advised to expedite departure. Richard Bricker was the crewchief riding on the left side, right behind Doug Erb, who was on the controls. The aircraft took fire on climb out, caught fire, exploded, and fell to the ground among the trees. Bricker recalls they had just lifted off the LZ (Scotch) when Bricker saw a bright flash through the trees, and moments later felt the impact at the access doors (at the base of the tailboom). The explosion/impact knocked the aircraft sideways to the right, causing the aircraft to impact with the trees, which in turn caused the disintegration of the aircraft as it fell 10 feet to the ground. The aircraft was engulfed in flames before it hit the trees or the ground. The crew chief, SP4 Bricker, and the gunner, SP4 Mike Walsh, were blown out of the burning aircraft during the crash and survived. Walsh heard someone cry out and found Burch. He carried Burch to a log, that they hid behind, until rescued by the Infantry. Simultaneously, Bricker, who was badly burned, cried out for Walsh to get him, but Walsh could not because of the intensity of the enemy fire. The Infantry came down the hill and assisted in the recovery of the crew to the mountain top, where they were flown out. During the crash, the pilots rode the aircraft in and were unable to get out the burning aircraft from the front. To get out, they both had to run through the intense fire in the cargo compartment and were severely burned. All crewmembers were able to walk away from the aircraft under their own power and were taken to the hospital at Quang Tri by a following 174th Dolphin aircraft. Both pilots had burned their lungs running through the fire and succumbed to pneumonia weeks later in Japan, which was commonplace. The severity of the burns was the reason they remained in Japan and were not shipped back to the states for recovery. Erb was in the bed next to Walsh when he (Erb) died. Walsh and Bricker were sent to the Burn Center at Brooke Army Hospital, Ft. Sam Houston, TX. Walsh was the least injured of the four, but was medically retired from active duty. Bricker, who also walked under his own power to an aircraft that lifted him out of the LZ, is alive and well in Piggott, Arkansas and has six children. He has had over 300 skin grafts and is loving life via his children (who found this website).
Source: Fred Thompson Sep 89; Bill Early Jul 91; COL Bob Berk, Pentagon, June 1992 who was an attending nurse in the burn ward in which that they were treated; Fred Thompson and Mike Walsh phone conversation-May 1993; Mike Walsh VHPA reunion Jul 1993, Phoenix; Fred Thompson and Richard Bricker phone conversation, Mar 99.


Steve is at Fort Snelling Cemetary. That war was just a waste.


When he was around he always had a smile on his face and was very quiet.


RIP steve


09/20/17 01:27 PM #11    

Gerald Rehr

Thanks for that it Helps.   Jerry Rehr





06/24/18 10:04 PM #12    

Judy Anderson (Zielinski)

Today I visited the traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall that was in St. Paul.  When I went there I found Steve Burch's name along with Patrick D. Erb who may have graduated from North St. Paul High in 1967 ]?]. Reading the posting at the bottom of Steve's page mentioned Patrick as he was in the same area when Steve was killed.  I did do a rubbing and take some photos of the names that I would love to post here.  Does anyone know if Patrick D. Erb actually went to North St. Paul High School? 



06/26/18 07:12 PM #13    

Gerald Rehr

Thanks for posting this for the Class.  I have excepted many "ThankYou For Your Service" from strangers and friends but the real fact is they all belong to guys like Steve. 




03/19/19 01:44 PM #14    

Thomas Hoffman


I was within miles (at the "rock pile") of my friend and neighbor Steve when this happened.  I didn't know it at the time, but when I got a letter from my mom I knew.  One of the hardest things in life to do was to visit Steve's mom when I got home.  This affected the neighborhood as well as myself.  Life isn't fair, but it goes on anyway.  You don't get to be a helicopter pilot unless you are the best of the  best, and Steve was that.  Been to the wall a couple of times to "visit" and look up names.  Very very somber place for me.




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