The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Stephen Frank Burlingame, who died in the service of his country on March 12th, 1967 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Stephen was 24 years of age. He was from Glendale, California. Stephen is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 16E, Line 67.
The decorations earned by SP4 Stephen Frank Burlingame include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachute Badge, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Stephen is buried in the Glen Haven Memorial Park Cemetery, San Frenando, CA
I never served in the military. I knew Burlingame from High School and college...under the facade of a tough guy, was a very bright, intelligent and very literate man...so brilliant...a Kerouacian figure...a man of great integrity...and he was FUNNY, my God he was funny...
Burlingame was fearless...a warrior or the highest order. I don't know the circumstances of his death, but he had an inate sense of the heroic...I would not be surprised to hear that he died trying to help others. I would like to know more about his tour if there's anyone out there that knows more. I am proud to have called you my friend...I salute you Steve...you shall always be...
So sleep well my friend...I'll always remember you as that rugged tough guy with the big heart and that wry grin...ready to fight or to love at the drop of a hat.
Monday, July 01, 2002
Relationship: We were high school classmates
(His Silver Star Citation)
Award Of The Silver Star
For gallantry in action against a hostile force: on 12 March 1967, Specialist Four Burlingame was serving as a Squad Leader with Company B, 2/35th Infantry, in the Republic of Vietnam, when it came under heavy sniper fire from two enemy machine guns and an unknown number of snipers. Specialist Four Burlingame immediately maneuvered his lead machine gun team forward to engage the enemy positions. As soon as his gun had been firmly established, he moved to the flank to give supporting fire. After a few minutes of intense fire exchange, Specialist Four Burlingame realized that the enemy could not be extricated from his present position. Ignoring the threat to his life, he rose to his feet and charged the machine gun emplacement, placing a large and accurate volume of fire into it. Just as he reached the enemy gun, he was fatally wounded, but his heroic behavior created the diversion necessary for the remainder of his men to establish an assault and overran the enemy. Specialist Four Burlingame's extraordinary courage, determination, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.