Burley Darrel Kiracofe

Company D 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

Killed in Action 04/05/69

 

 

 

Burley Kiracofe's home of record was Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born on November 18, 1947.
He was not married and his religion was Protestant. He began his tour in Vietnam on September 11, 1968.
He was 21 years of age when he died and had attained the rank of Corporal
in Company D of the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry.

His official US Army KIA listing is as follows:

Casualty date: 04/05/69

Remains: Body recovered

Location: Kontum, South Vietnam

Type: Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple Fragmentation Wounds - Ground Casualty

Note: E3 at loss. Promoted while in POW status

Burley Kiracofe's name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. on

Panel 27W Line 019

 

Burley Kiracofe was killed in action while on Operation Wayne Grey, during an assault on NVA positions
near LZ Cider in the Plei Trap Valley, at grid reference YA811797, approximately 27 kilometers north of
Plei Djereng airfield.

*****************

 

Kalamazoo Gazette Obituary 06/14/1969

KIRACOFE,
PFC Burley D., Jr.
5920 Monticello, Portage,

Killed in action in Vietnam. Born November 18, 1947 in Kalamazoo, son of Burley and Dora Kiracofe. He had been associated
with his father as a painter and had lived in the Portage area for 13 years and had been in Viet Nam just over six months.
Pfc. Kiracofe graduated in 1966 from Portage Northern High School.
A full military service will be held Wednesday from Truesdale South Chapel, a contingent from Ft. Benjamin Harrison
conferring the honors. internment in Mount Ever-rest Cemetery.

 

Burley

Burley Kiracofe's mother understands the supreme sacrifice young men pay for their country, more than most.
She lost her first husband in World War II, and when her son Burley died in Vietnam,
she was forced to endure that special grief for a second time.

Burley's father grieved in his own way--refusing to speak of his son, and becoming angry when others did speak of Burley.

 

Burley, before the Army, playing slowpitch softball.

Burley is remembered as a smiling, happy young man. He is loved and missed.

**********************

Burley's passion was slowpitch softball.
A memorial slowpitch softball tournament has been held in his honor since 1969, and is named the

KIRACOFE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT,

in his memory.

Ballplayer statue with plaque presented to the Kiracofe family,

commemorating the 25th anniversary of the

KIRACOFE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

......................

Kiracofe entering 35th year

Thursday, July 10, 2003

BY DEL NEWELL
KALAMAZOO GAZETTE

The Kiracofe Memorial Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament shows no sign of slowing down.

In fact, the longest-running slow-pitch tourney in the country is in its 35th year and more than 50 teams in four divisions are expected to compete for honors this weekend at VerSluis-Dickinson Softball Complex off Douglas Avenue. Play begins Friday night in a tournament that started in the spring of 1969 and honored the memory of Burley Kiracofe Jr., who was killed in Vietnam in 1969.

"My brother died in April 1969, and the first memorial tournament was held Memorial Day weekend," said Ron Kiracofe, who for years has played on and sponsored slow-pitch teams in Kalamazoo city leagues. "Terry Young and Ron Mosher, who were involved with Evans Ford and the Insurance Agents, started the first tournament. It was moved to June and then July, where it's been for years."

Again there will be double-elimination competition in three divisions for men -- A/B, C and D -- and, for the third year in a row, a women's division. Even though there's been "a substantial decrease in the amount of A and AA teams, the tournament will still have quality teams," said Mike Brockelbank, tournament director. "The top division, A/B, will feature teams from Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Indiana and a local team, Suburban Mechanical/Kansas City Dipping Grill/Firehouse, made up of Terry Patesel, Jeff Crawford and Matt Lavender," Brockelbank said. "The Lansing Plumbers and Pipefitters, who've won it the last two years, should also be here," Kiracofe said.

The other divisions will have a local look to many of the rosters. The Cavaliers from Battle Creek, for example, are the defending champs in Division C and their lineup includes Jeff McCauley and Al Raber. Salties from Grand Rapids has a local flavor, too, as Greg Price, Scott Arlington, Kenton Hendrick and Jason Barber are all slow-pitch tourney veterans. BW-3 of Kalamazoo features Dane Davis, a former Portage Central baseball standout who once upon a time led the city in hitting, Denny Ladd and Comstock's Con Stanton. And Fab Steel from Portage has B.J. Roberts, Paxton Olney and Chris Pratt.

"The D Division will definitely have the most entries (25)," Brockelbank said. "Local entries Fire, Kalamazoo Merchants, Thunder and a first-year team, Storm, are all expecting to make a good showing." Steve Wiley, another longtime slow-pitch standout, is player/manager of the Merchants. At least five local teams will be in the women's division.

Play begins Friday night at 7:30, continues Saturday and wraps up Sunday with championship contests at 3:30.

A couple of special attractions will be a brief ceremony early Saturday evening inducting the two newest members of the "Wall of Fame," which honors individuals for their contributions to the Kiracofe tourney and softball in general, and a home run hitting contest that will follow. One other attraction is that admission is free to watch all the action.

**********************

Below is a letter sent to Burley Kiracofe's family by the US Army:

 

CPL Burley D. Kiracofe's decorations

 

 

 

Burley's medals.

 

 

Burley's flag - presented to his family.

 

 

Plaque from Burley's flag.

 

 

Presentation plaque from the Kalamazoo County Memorial Wall.

 

 

**********************

 

Burley is buried at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park, Kalamazoo, MI.

 

**********************

 

The family wishes anyone who may have known Burley to contact them.
Contact Burley's sister Dara at:

dara.klimp@gmail.com

 

 

A special thanks to Burley's sister Dara, for the above pictures and information.

Her dedication and involvement are testaments to her brother's memory.

 

 

To view photos of Burley Kiracofe click on the following link:

Burley Kiracofe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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