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Capt Valmore William “Val” Bourque, Jr

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Capt Valmore William “Val” Bourque, Jr

  • Birth 23 Jul 1936 South Hadley Falls, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 24 Oct 1964 Cambodia
  • Burial Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
  • Plot 003 D 041
  • Memorial ID 17906710

In loving memory of... Valmore William Bourque,Jr.
*** 1955: On July 11, 306 civilians went through the gates of Lowry Air Force Base outside Denver, Colorado, and emerged on the other side as new cadets in the Air Force Academy’s first class. The very first to take the oath as a cadet was Valmore Bourque, and 305 others followed close behind. (Val Bourque would graduate with the Class of '60. Later, he died in Vietnam, ironically, the first Air Force Academy graduate to die in combat.)

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 28
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jul 23, 1936
Marital Status: Married - Linda L. (wife), Wendy Sue (Daughter)**** Widow remarried - Mrs John P Sheppard, Pleasantville, NY., Daughter, Wendy, married, Marine Lt Jack Snider, Colorado. Parents: Father - Valmore V. Bourque born Feb. 14, 1913 in Holyoke, Mass. and died Jan. 25, 2001 in Palm Beach,Florida at 88 yrs of age, Mother (Divorced) - Cecilia Agnes Bourque of South Hadley Hills, Mass. Brother, Robert F. Bourque.
* Paternal Grandparents: Valmore Bourque M 38 Canada (Grandfather)FAG Memorial# 9798391 and Merilda Boisvert Bourque F 39 Massachusetts (Grandmother) FAG Memorial# 9798393.

***** USAFA WIDOW-Mrs, Valmore W. Bourque,Jr. widow of the first USAF Academy graduate to be killed in action against an enemy, receives the third, fourth and fifth OLC's to the
Air Medal from Col Howard H. Cloud, Commander, Ent AFB, Colo. Captain Bourque was cited posthumouslv. for duty in Vietnam from July to October of last vear.
***** The flag - draped coffin of Captain Valmore William Bourque,Jr., 28 years old - first Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in action is borne to his final resting place in the Air Force Academy cemetery. His comrades in arms bid him farewell with full military honors in ceremonies in Colorado Springs and at the Academy. He was killed Oct. 24, 1964 when his transport plane was shot down in South Viet Nam. His wife and 2-year old daughter live in Colorado Springs.

Graduation - 1960
KIA Date - 10/24/1964
Squadron - CS 06
High School - So Hadley HS
High School Activities Class Vice President, Yearbook Editor, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Skiing
Post High School - Prep School: Williston Academy, East Hampton Mass
Academy Experiences - Baseball, Soccer, Ski Club
Academic Degree Major - BS - USAFA
Active Duty Assignments Pilot Training Pilot C-131 Pilot C-123
KIA Conflict - Vietnam
Combat Information - 315th Tac Carrier Group, Tan Son Nhut AB, SVn
Killed In Action Mission - C-123B air drop mission near Bu Prang SVn. Struck by ground fire over Cambodia and crashed.
Next of Kin - Linda L. (wife), Wendy Sue (Daughter)
Burial Site - USAFA
MIA Information - Aeronautical Specialty Rating Pilot, Aircraft Commander C-123B
Notable Decoration Awards - Promoted to Captain Post Humorously 1 Purple Heart, 6 Air Medals

Service: United States Air Force
Grade at loss: O2
Note: Posthumous Promotion as indicated
ID No: 015289252
MOS: 1115: Pilot

Incident Date: 10/24/1964
Casualty Date: 10/24/1964
Age at Loss: 28
Location: Quang Duc Province, South Vietnam
Casualty Type: Hostile, died while missing
Casualty Reason: Fixed Wing - Pilot
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land
ON THE WALL Panel 01E Line 067
Comments - Entered with the Class of 1959, first cadet sworn in. First Graduate KIA - Captain Bourque was the first USAFA graduate to be lost in Vietnam.
CAPT - 3 - Air Force - Regular
Casualty was on Oct 24, 1964
Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - PILOT
Body was recovered

The other causualties: Capt Edward Stephen Krukowski (KIA)
1Lt Robert George Armstrong (KIA) SSgt Ernest Joseph Halvorson (KIA) SSgt Theodore Bert Phillips (KIA)
AIC Eugene Richardson (KIA) 1Lt Valmore W. Bourque
SSgt Lawrence Woods(USA) PFC Charles P. Sparks (USA)

Captain Bourque C-123B Provider (#55-4549), of the 315th Troop Carrier Group at Tan Son Nhut AB, took off from Nha Trang to drop ammunition to an isolated Special Forces camp at Bu Prang close to the Cambodian border.

During the mission it wandered over the border and was hit in the starboard engine by AAA from within Cambodia itself.

The aircraft crashed with the loss of all on board a few miles from Phum Duk Dam just inside Cambodia.

SSgt Lawrence Woods, US Army,5th Special Forces Group (MIA)
PFC Charles Pierce Sparks, US Army (KIA) Captain Bourque was interred on the grounds of the Air Force Academy.


Valmore Bourque, Sr.,
"United States Census, 1940"
Name: Valmore Bourque
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: South Hadley Falls, South Hadley Town, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Birth Year: 1913
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head Valmore Bourque M 27 Massachusetts ( Father )
Wife Cecelia Bourque F 22 Massachusetts ( Mother )
Son Valmore Bourque M 3 Massachusetts
Son Robert Bourque M 2 Massachusetts


Valmore Bourque, in household of Valmore Bourque,
"United States Census, 1930"
Name: Valmore Bourque
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1930
Event Place: Holyoke, Hampden, Massachusetts, UStates
District: 0166
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birth Year (Estimated): 1913
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Immigration Year:
Father's Birthplace: Canada
Mother's Birthplace: Massachusetts
Head Valmore Bourque M 38 Canada (Grandfather)FAG Memorial# 9798391.
Wife Merilda Boisvert Bourque F 39 Massachusetts (Grandmother) FAG Memorial# 9798393.
Son Valmore Bourque M 17 Massachusetts ( Father )SR.
Son Ernest Bourque M 14 Massachusetts (Uncle)* FAG #91419798. Buried in Saint Mary Cemetery, Hampshire, MA.
Daughter Clera Bourque F 13 Massachusetts (Aunt)
Son Raymond Bourque M 8 Massachusetts (Uncle)
Daughter Rheta Bourque F 5 Massachusetts (Aunt)



  • Maintained by: Eddieb
  • Originally Created by: HEE
  • Added: 12 Feb 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17906710
  • Eddieb
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Valmore William “Val” Bourque, Jr (23 Jul 1936–24 Oct 1964), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17906710, citing United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .