First Enlisted Pilot Corporal Vernon L Burge

A new monument honoring the nearly 3,000 enlisted sergeant pilots who served from 1912-1957 was unveiled during a ceromony June 9, 2014, at the Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. The monument depicts Cpl. Vernon L. Burge, the first enlisted pilot in military aviation, and recognizes the acomplishments of the enlisted fliers who came after him. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna Burnett)

A new monument honoring the nearly 3,000 enlisted sergeant pilots who served from 1912-1957 was unveiled during a ceromony June 9, 2014, at the Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. The monument depicts Cpl. Vernon L. Burge, the first enlisted pilot in military aviation, and recognizes the acomplishments of the enlisted fliers who came after him. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna Burnett)

 

Corporal Vernon L. Burge was the first enlisted pilot in the U.S. Army. 

V. L. Burge enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1907, and remained in the service until his retirement in January, 1942.  During this time he advanced through all grades to reach the rank of colonel, Air Corps, U.S. Army.  He accumulated over 5,000 hours flying time during his time as a pilot.

Vernon L. Burge: First Enlisted Pilot by William I. Chivalette.  Published by the Airmen Memorial Museum.

Read his unpublished diary and Early History to find out his perspective on the early days of army aviation.

Diary of V.L. Burge, 1901-1912

Early History of Army Aviation by Col. V. L. Burge, A. C.