STEPHEN J. BURLEY, CAPT, USMC

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Stephen Burley '77

Date of birth: May 20, 1954

Date of death: March 24, 1984

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

1977 Burley LB.jpg

Loss

From The San Diego Union on March 26, 1984 as quoted on Find A Grave:

The bodies of all 29 U.S. and South Korean marines killed in a helicopter crash have been recovered from the mountain where they died during a joint military exercise, officials said yesterday.

In Washington, the Pentagon identified the 18 U.S. Marines who perished. Fourteen of the Americans were from Company L of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base near Oceanside and had been on a six-month assignment to South Korea, according to a base spokesman. Marine spokesmen at Camp Pendleton and in Washington yesterday said they could not say which of the victims on the Pentagon's list were from Camp Pendleton.

The Pentagon identified the victims by name and home town: Gunnery Sgt. Richard L. Djelko, Danbury, Conn.; Sgt. Kenneth B. Crosby, Houston; Pvt. Anthony F. Dugas, Opelousas, La.; Pfc. Edwin C. Ferrell, Clover, Va.; Cpl. Tim V. Kelly, Fresno; Cpl. Bradley McComas, Camden, Ohio; Sgt. Kevin J. Mugoodwin, Gary, Ind.; Pfc. James T. Rooney, West Point, Iowa; Lance Cpl. Fernando Rosales Jr., Brentwood, N.Y.

Also: Pfc. William A. Soles, Baton Rouge, La.; Sgt. David C. Higgins, Somerset, Pa.; Lance Cpl. Daniel B. Zinck, Framingham, Mass.; Pfc. John M. Andrews III, Watchung, N.J.; Lance Cpl. Herman L. Osceola, Culewiston, Fla.; Capt. John H. Huston, Gahanna, Ohio; Capt. Steven Burley, Magnolia, N.J.; Cpl. Jeffrey Acquiston, San Dimas; and Staff Sgt. John Liddle, Independence, Mo.

Eleven South Koreans were killed. A U.S. military official in Seoul confirmed there were no survivors of the crash.

The remains were transported to Seoul to an army mortuary at Yongsan, the large U.S. base in the South Korean capital pending return to the United States. The search for the bodies in a mountainous coastal area about 200 miles southeast of Seoul had gone on since the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53D chopper smashed into a mountainside early Saturday morning.

The helicopter was one of six taking part in a night training exercise. The military said the weather was above minimum standards when the helicopters took off but that rain and high winds developed and the mission was scrubbed.

The helicopter was heading back to the base at the southeast coastal port town of Pohang when it plowed into the mountainside.

The training was part of a combined program called Team Spirit '84 involving about 60,000 U.S. and 147,500 South Korean military personnel, which began Feb. 1 and will be completed in April. Team Spirit maneuvers have been held annually for the past nine years.

Obituary

From the November 1984 issue of Shipmate:

Capt. Stephen Joseph Buriey USMC died in a helicopter accident on 24 March 1984 near Pohang, Republic of South Korea. At the time of the accident he was pilot-in-command of a CH-53D Sea Stallion, which was participating in a night training exercise in support of Team Spirit '84. Memorial services were conducted at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, and MCAS (H) Tustin, California. Funeral services were held at St. Gregory's Catholic Church in Magnolia, New Jersey, with interment nearby at Beverly National Cemetery.

After attending the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas, he was appointed to the Naval Academy Class of 1977 from the State of New Jersey. Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps and reported to The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. Following his designation as a Naval Aviator on 2 November 1979, he was ordered to MAG-16, 3rd MAW, onboard MCAS (H) Tustin.

At the time of his death, he was deployed to Okinawa with HMH-361. He was a life member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association.

He is survived by his widow Jude, 814 Liberty Drive, Somerdale NJ 08083; his son, Stephen Joseph Jr., born 20 July 1984; his parents and two brothers.


Class of 1977

Stephen is one of 16 members of the Class of 1977 in Memorial Hall.