George Evans Turnure Jr.

George Evans Turnure Jr. Veteran

Birth
Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Death
30 Nov 1920 (aged 24)
New York, New York County, New York, USA
Burial
Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA Add to Map
Plot
D / Lot 48
Memorial ID
View Source
George Evans Turnure, Jr. entered Harvard University as a member of the Class of 1920, but he left in 1916 to begin military training at Plattsburgh, New York. In 1917 he joined the American Ambulance Field Service and departed for France. On February 16, 1917, Turnure joined France's Service Aeronautique and underwent aviation, aerobatic, and gunnery training at Avord, Pau, and the G.D.E. He earned his brevet on the Bleriot on June 16, 1917, and he graduated from the training pipeline on July 25, 1917. Turnure was assigned to Escadrille SPA 103 and flew combat patrols with that unit until December 16, 1917.

While assigned with SPA 103, Turnure shot down a two-seat aircraft near Ypres. He was on a patrol mission alongside Adjudant Rene Fonck, the French Ace of Aces who ended the war with 75 official victories and was the second overall leading Ace behind only the Baron Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"). Turnure was credited with assisting Fonck to bring down the German two-seat aircraft piloted by Captain Wissemann. Two weeks earlier, Weissmann had shot down France's famous and beloved Ace, Georges Guynemer. Weissmann's name had been heralded throughout Germany, and every French and American airman on the Flanders Front was longing to bring him down. Turnure played an active part in this famous combat. (There are other studies into Guynemer's fate.)

On January 2, 1918, Turnure was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Service. He was reassigned to SPA 124 (the Lafayette Escadrille) on February 12, but the French Command had already made effective the transfer of SPA 124 to become the United States Air Service's 103rd Aero Squadron which stood up on February 18. With the 103rd Aero Squadron, Turnure was credited with shooting down two enemy observation balloons. Shooting down a front line observation balloon was extremely difficult and dangerous, for they were heavily defended by ground fire and enemy aircraft.

From August 28, 1918 until the end of the war on November 11, 1918, Turnure served as a Flight Commander within the 28th Aero Squadron. (The 28th Aero Squadron included the famous "Arizona Balloon Buster," Lt Frank Luke, Jr.) Turnure ended the war with three confirmed victories.

For his heroic service for France, Turnure was awarded the Legion of Honor as well as the Croix de Guerre with three Palms and a Star.

Turnure died of pneumonia in New York City on November 20, 1920 at the age of 24.

References:
-- "The Lafayette Flying Corps: The American Volunteers in the French Air Service in World War One," by Dennis Gordon. Schiffer Military History; Atglen, PA: 2000.
-- "The Lafayette Flying Corps," by James Norman Hall and Charles Bernard Nordhoff. Kennikat Press, Inc; Port Washington, NY: 1964.
-- "Wings of Honor: American Airmen in World War I," by James J. Sloan, Jr. Schiffer Military History; Atglen, PA: 1994.
-- "The Storks," by Norman Franks and Frank Bailey. Grub Street; London: 1998.
-- "The Flight Log and War Letters of George Evans Turnure, Jr.," compiled by his brother Lawrence Turnure. Whitney Press (privately printed and limited to 20 copies); New York: Dec 1936.
George Evans Turnure, Jr. entered Harvard University as a member of the Class of 1920, but he left in 1916 to begin military training at Plattsburgh, New York. In 1917 he joined the American Ambulance Field Service and departed for France. On February 16, 1917, Turnure joined France's Service Aeronautique and underwent aviation, aerobatic, and gunnery training at Avord, Pau, and the G.D.E. He earned his brevet on the Bleriot on June 16, 1917, and he graduated from the training pipeline on July 25, 1917. Turnure was assigned to Escadrille SPA 103 and flew combat patrols with that unit until December 16, 1917.

While assigned with SPA 103, Turnure shot down a two-seat aircraft near Ypres. He was on a patrol mission alongside Adjudant Rene Fonck, the French Ace of Aces who ended the war with 75 official victories and was the second overall leading Ace behind only the Baron Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"). Turnure was credited with assisting Fonck to bring down the German two-seat aircraft piloted by Captain Wissemann. Two weeks earlier, Weissmann had shot down France's famous and beloved Ace, Georges Guynemer. Weissmann's name had been heralded throughout Germany, and every French and American airman on the Flanders Front was longing to bring him down. Turnure played an active part in this famous combat. (There are other studies into Guynemer's fate.)

On January 2, 1918, Turnure was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Service. He was reassigned to SPA 124 (the Lafayette Escadrille) on February 12, but the French Command had already made effective the transfer of SPA 124 to become the United States Air Service's 103rd Aero Squadron which stood up on February 18. With the 103rd Aero Squadron, Turnure was credited with shooting down two enemy observation balloons. Shooting down a front line observation balloon was extremely difficult and dangerous, for they were heavily defended by ground fire and enemy aircraft.

From August 28, 1918 until the end of the war on November 11, 1918, Turnure served as a Flight Commander within the 28th Aero Squadron. (The 28th Aero Squadron included the famous "Arizona Balloon Buster," Lt Frank Luke, Jr.) Turnure ended the war with three confirmed victories.

For his heroic service for France, Turnure was awarded the Legion of Honor as well as the Croix de Guerre with three Palms and a Star.

Turnure died of pneumonia in New York City on November 20, 1920 at the age of 24.

References:
-- "The Lafayette Flying Corps: The American Volunteers in the French Air Service in World War One," by Dennis Gordon. Schiffer Military History; Atglen, PA: 2000.
-- "The Lafayette Flying Corps," by James Norman Hall and Charles Bernard Nordhoff. Kennikat Press, Inc; Port Washington, NY: 1964.
-- "Wings of Honor: American Airmen in World War I," by James J. Sloan, Jr. Schiffer Military History; Atglen, PA: 1994.
-- "The Storks," by Norman Franks and Frank Bailey. Grub Street; London: 1998.
-- "The Flight Log and War Letters of George Evans Turnure, Jr.," compiled by his brother Lawrence Turnure. Whitney Press (privately printed and limited to 20 copies); New York: Dec 1936.

Inscription

"Sacred to the Memory of GEORGE EVANS TURNURE, JR. Beloved Son of George Evans Turnure and Elizabeth Lanier Turnure. Aviator in the Service of France with the Cigogne Escadrille. Captain in the Air Service of the United States with the Lafayette Escadrille. Chevalier of the Legion of Honor."

Gravesite Details

American Legion Marker, WW1.