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COL Vernon Burge

Photo added by William Bjornstad

COL Vernon Burge

  • Birth 29 Nov 1888 Fisher, Champaign County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 6 Sep 1971 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
  • Burial San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
  • Plot Section E Site 237
  • Memorial ID 70701894

American Military Aviation Pioneer. He was the first enlisted person to be certified as a military pilot. Little is known of his early life. After enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1907, he was assigned as a private first class to the newly formed Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corp at Fort Myer VA. He worked as a member of the aircraft ground crew in August 1908 when the Wright Brothers brought the first fixed-wing aircraft to Ft Myer, which had been purchased by the U.S. Army. In 1910 He transferred to Ft Sam Houston TX where he performed aircraft repairs. By 1912 he had been promoted to corporal and he accompanied the U.S. Army's seventh purchased aircraft as its mechanic to the Philippines where 1st Lieutenant Frank Purdy Lahm was establishing a flying school to train two officers. When only one officer came forward for the hazardous duty, Burge volunteered and after completing his training, he received his aviation certificate on August 14, 1912. On June 26, 1917 he received a commission as an officer and took part in patrol flights along the Mexico-U.S. border in 1919, near the end of the Mexican Revolution. He retired from the U.S. Army Air Corps as a colonel on January 31, 1942.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Family Members

Gravesite Details Col, US Army Air Corps, WW I, WW II





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 1 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 70701894
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for COL Vernon Burge (29 Nov 1888–6 Sep 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 70701894, citing Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .