Col Vincent Ward “Squeek” Burnett

Photo added by Texas Girl

Col Vincent Ward “Squeek” Burnett

  • Birth 16 Jun 1913 Lynchburg, Lynchburg City, Virginia, USA
  • Death 28 Feb 1989 Lakemont, Petersburg City, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Lynchburg, Lynchburg City, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Sec-F Lot-54 Spc-7
  • Memorial ID 27555481

Vincent Burnett was the youngest of three siblings born to Sam and Nannie who instilled in him a sense of honesty and fairness that he never forgot. He was also a mischievous, enterprising and independent youngster. Sam, his father hoped that Vince would become a doctor-- but not to be -- as at about that time Charles Lindbergh`s flight over the Atlantic in 1927 caused the country to have aviation fever and Vince caught the fever.

Burnett learned to fly at a local field where he performed chores in exchange for flight lessons. One lesson a month. He became a fixture at the flight line and by the 1930`s he was doing aerobatic flying. Vince became a member of the renowened "Flying Aces Air Circus" and toured the country performing. While touring Vince met and married Evelyn Baker. They married New Years Eve, 1930 and she toured with him. Vince developed signature maneuvers such as the inverted square loop and inverted ribbon cutting with vertical stabilzer five feet off the ground. During all of this touring World War II came along and changed his life.

With Vince`s flying expertise he was recruited by the Military to train AF Cadets to fly. Later he was assigned to ferry AF planes from Depots to using AF Bases. General Jimmy DOOLITTLE just back from his Tokyo Raid was recruiting pilots for duty in the North African Campaign and got word of Vince`s exploits from a mutual friend. Pulling strings he had Vince assinged to him as a technical adviser and trouble shooter.

Ferry pilots and Aviation Cadets were having trouble flying
Peyton Magruder`s HOT new Martin B-26 Marauder twin engine bomber, so Vinces` first assignment was to assess the problem and then fix it before Senator Truman`s comittee could get the Martin bomber cancelled. The problem turned out to be poor transition training and maintainence issues on the new aircraft. Vince was so successful that the Maurader wound up with the best record of the War.

Burnett was next sent with his B-26 to a conference near Galveston on the Matagorda Penisula the purpose of which was to explore ways to improve combat flying techniques and demo tactics used by all services (beginning of TOP GUN). All of the US services were there as well as some Allies. The Marine Corps rep attending was Capt Joe FOSS an ACE with 26 kills, flying a F4U Corsair. When the flight Demonstrations began Burnett offered to put his B-26 up against other aircraft. Foss took him up on that challenge.

Pitting a medium bomber against a top-of-the-line fighter should have resulted in a very lopsided dual. Normally the outcome would have been predictable from the outset, but with Squeek Burnett at the controls of the B-26 it was a different story. As the two aircraft tore through the Texas sky, Foss quickly discovered that his opponent was no ordinary pilot. Squeek reportedly maneuvered the Marauder more like a fighter than a bomber. When the match was over, it was declared a draw. TIME magazine was on site and reported the story. (Aug, 1943)


Family Members

Siblings

Inscription

"Squeek" Col US AIR FORCE


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  • Maintained by: LAWRENCE HEIDLEBAUGH
  • Originally Created by: Texas Girl
  • Added: 14 Jun 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27555481
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Col Vincent Ward “Squeek” Burnett (16 Jun 1913–28 Feb 1989), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27555481, citing Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg, Lynchburg City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by LAWRENCE HEIDLEBAUGH (contributor 47226871) .