Committed to fight as infantry during the Battle of Yongsan (September 1950), PFC Leslie V. Burris and Private Robert E. Meyers of Alpha Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion destroy the first of three enemy North Korean T-34 tanks. The actions of these 2nd Engineer soldiers allowed friendly forces to hold the ground until reinforcements arrived. PFC Burris would be wounded that same day and evacuated. Meyers was captured during the Battle of Kuni-ri (November 1950) and perished in a POW camp.
Bronze Star Citation with "V" Device
For heroic achievement on 1 and 2 September 1950. While serving as a bazooka gunner in Company A, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, in the area of Yongsan, South Korea. During the night of 1 September 1950 and early morning of 2 September 1950, Private First Class Burris and his bazooka loader were chosen to accompany a captain from a neighboring infantry unit to assist in defense of an attack from a North Korean T-34 tank. They proceeded approximately 1000 yards north of their position to engage the first tank. Private First Class Burris and his bazooka loader took position behind a burial mound and aimed the bazooka at the approaching tank. He fired the bazooka but missed and the T-34 tank fired back, covering them in dirt. Very quickly, the bazooka was reloaded and fired again, destroying the tank. Looking north, they spotted another T-34 tank, loaded the bazooka and made the kill. Further north, they spotted a third T-34 tank, and fired, disabling the tank. Had Private First Class Burris and his bazooka loader not taken the three tanks out of service, it could have resulted in many casualties to the Battalion and neighboring infantry unit. Private First Class Burris' exemplary performance of duty in active ground combat was in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, and the United States Army.