Lt. Col. U. S. Air Force, Retired
Age 90, of Mount Lebanon, formerly of Austin, TX, on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. Beloved and devoted husband of the late Mary Patricia (Drury) Burke; loving father of Robert W. Burke of Midland, TX, William P. Burke (Linda) of North Richland Hills, TX and Mary Beth (Euclid) Noble of Mt. Lebanon; proud grandfather of Katherine, 2nd Lt. Richard, Austin and Hunter Noble. Walter's love of flying started at a very early age with his first flight in an open cockpit bi-plane at age 14. At age 19, he enlisted in the Air Force and was called to active duty in March of 1943. Walt flew 67 missions in a P-38 with the 30th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron between July of 1944 and September of 1945, he volunteered for particularly hazardous low altitude photo missions. After WWII, he pursued his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California and in June of 1950 was recalled to active duty. From February through October of 1951, Walt flew 100 missions over North Korea with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron in a P-51. Walt continued his career with the Air Force and flew 85 missions from November of 1969 through November of 1970 over North Vietnam. Lt. Col. Burke was an airman, consummate pilot, warrior and hero during 3 wars while at the same time a model of selfless service, with awards and medals too numerous to mention. Friends will be welcomed at the LAUGHLIN MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, Friday evening from 6:00 until 8:00. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Bernard Church, Saturday morning at 10 o'clock. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. If desired, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, 301 Grant Street, Pgh., PA 15219.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2013