Charles "Chic" Burlingame, 1949-2001
UPDATE NOTICE: A recent article in the 22 June 2004 edition of the Wall Street Journal, written by Debra Burlingame, makes a telling statement on our national political scene and how some have twisted the horror of 9/11 to suit their own ends. You can read the article here.
For those who knew Capt. Charles Frank Burlingame III, news that terrorists had wrested control of his aircraft and plunged Flight 77 like a guided missile into the Pentagon conjured unbearable images of the last moments of his life -- and those of his passengers.
--Washington Post, Friday, September 14, 2001
On Saturday, September 8, Naval aviator and former Saratoga shipmate Charles "Chic" Burlingame was mowing the lawn at his Virginia home, listening to the Navy-Georgia Tech football game...while wearing his USS Saratoga cap.
"He loved that cap and his association with Saratoga," said his wife Sheri, an American Airlines flight attendant. "That was the last cap he wore before putting on his uniform for his flight on Tuesday," she said quietly. "The Saratoga cap is still hanging on the peg in the laundry room where he hung it."
"He loved the Navy," said his younger sister Debra Burlingame, an attorney from Los Angeles. "Chic actively participated in a foundation that mentored young people considering attending Annapolis and a career in the Navy."
Burlingame flew F-4 Phantoms with VF-103 (The Sluggers) aboard USS Saratoga from 1976 to 1979. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with the Class of 1971, which celebrated its 30th reunion the weekend following the terrorist attacks.
Chic will certainly be remembered by his classmates, and his aerodynamic personality will serve him well in his future as a Naval Aviator!
- Class of '71 Lucky Bag (Yearbook) excerpt for Charles "Chic" Burlingame
(Click here for the full text of his yearbook entry.)
At the reunion his classmate and friend Captain Frank Culbertson,'71 USN (Ret.), commanding the International Space Station (ISS), sent a recorded message to the class honoring Chic. Culbertson's message culminated with the haunting notes of Taps, the first time that melancholy bugle call was sent from space to earth.
(Click here to hear Captain Culbertson's message.)
In addition to his wife and sister, he is also survived by a daughter, Wendy Burlingame; two brothers, Dr. Mark W. Burlingame, of Lancaster, PA and Bradley M. Burlingame, of West Hollywood, CA; grandson Jack, and stepsons John and Chad Harris.
Born in St. Paul, MN, Chic Burlingame was the oldest of four children. The family grew up on or near military bases, although Chic spent a good part of his childhood in Orange County, California. His father, Charles Frank Burlingame Jr., joined the Navy as a teenager during World War II. According to Debra Burlingame their father was also a carrier sailor, serving as a Machinist Mate aboard USS Antietam. He later instructed pilots-to-be on the Link trainer at Corpus Christi. After the war he re-enlisted in the Air Force, serving twenty years.
"Dad's greatest dream was to be a pilot himself, but the war ended before he got his chance," said Debra. "Chic and my dad really shared this dream of being a Naval aviator."
Charles Burlingame had been known since infancy as Chic. "His grandfather was known as Charlie, and his father was called Chuck," his wife recalled. An aviation enthusiast from the age of six when he built a model airplane as big as he was out of scrap material, his boyhood dream was to attend a service academy and become a pilot.
He fulfilled the first part of his childhood dream by by earning a presidential appointment (from Lyndon Johnson) to the United States Naval Academy in 1967, the year he graduated from Anaheim High School.
"Chic was always very proud of that presidential appointment (as opposed to congressional) for one reason and one reason only, and that was because of our father's status as retired military," said Debra.
After graduating from Annapolis with the Class of 1971 and a brief assignment at sea, Chic went to Pensacola to learn to fly.
"Chic excelled in flight school," recalled Annapolis classmate and fellow American Airlines pilot Mike Marks. "He was very proud to have his dad in attendance when he got his Wings of Gold."
Chic transitioned to tactical jets at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas, In the fleet, he flew F-4 Phantoms aboard the USS Saratoga. According to his peers, he was an accomplished carrier aviator .
Like most military pilots, Burlingame considered the most difficult flying job in the world to be landing a fighter jet on the deck of an aircraft carrier as it pitched at sea in the dark of night. Once, his brothers recalled, he put a jet down safely on its belly when the landing gear malfunctioned.
He left the Navy in 1979 to pursue a flying career with American Airlines. He was furloughed in 1980 and went to work in the Washington office of Lockheed Aerospace. According to classmate Marks, Chic was well thought of at Lockheed -- to the point that even after his recall to American in 1984 he stayed on as a consultant with Lockheed until 1987.
"He was a consummate professional pilot for the airlines, but never let that get in his way of being well liked,"added Marks.
"He always had the answers, and he always would solve the problems, but this one [September 11] was bigger than him," said Mark Burlingame, who said his older brother was intensely serious about his responsibilities as a commercial pilot.
"I don't know what happened in that cockpit, but I'm sure that they would have had to incapacitate him or kill him because he would have done anything to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell that airplane."
"If he couldn't save that plane, nobody could," said, Debra. "We want to tell his story so that people who had loved ones on that flight will know that he would have sacrificed himself to save them."
Brother Mark, a heart surgeon, recalls his brother saying that in a plane crash, "Whatever happens to my aircraft, I know that I'm going to suffer the same fate. The pilot rarely survives."
Friends and family remembered him as a man who was unabashedly patriotic, who embraced military life even after he retired from active and reserve duty. He remained active in the Naval Reserve, including a recall to active duty during the Gulf War. His last reserve assignment was at the Pentagon, where he served until he retired with the rank of Captain in 1996. When his plane went down, it ripped through a section of the building that includes the Navy Reserve offices.
"One of the true ironies of this crash is that it was into the Pentagon, where he worked for many years," said brother Brad, a tourism executive. "The people who perished in that crash could very well have been his friends and colleagues."
His airplane crashed the day before his 52nd birthday in the shadow of Arlington National Cemetery where his recently deceased parents are buried. His siblings are hoping that he may be laid to rest near his parents. "Arlington was a sacred place to him," Mark Burlingame said. "We think he would have wanted it that way."
(A memorial fund has been set up in memory of Captain Burlingame. Select this link to read more about this fund)
USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, Inc. thanks Chic Burlingame's family, friends and Naval Academy classmates for their contributions to this page. Additional information was obtained from the Washington Post, USA Today, ITN News and the website of the United States Naval Academy.
Condolences and Memories :
Captain Burlingame made an entry in the Saratoga Guestbook in the early days of the project. His short remarks are presented below - you can read the original entry in context with others made during that time by selecting this link.
What a great project. Nice job! LT Charles Burlingame.
Pilot, VF-103, Slugger 1976-1979
Oak Hill, VA USA - Monday, July 10, 2000 at 7:37 am.
Many who served aboard Saratoga in the 70s, and those who worked with Captain Burlingame during his career at American Airlines, have fond memories of him. In the spirit of Chic's original entry into our guestbook, we invite you to share your remembrances here.
Like many others, I never met Chic but can still feel a kinship to the man. Straight out of school I joined the Navy and reported to VF-103 as an AT. I did'nt enter the service until 1984 but having served with VF-103 and making two cruises on the USS Saratoga there is a bond that weaves the fibers of our lives together. A strong and unbreakable bond that time can not erode. Chic's family has lost a great deal but I know it must be comforting to know just what he meant to so many people some of whom they have never met. I can tell by the postings that Chic was not the average run of the mill man. During a lifetime I would dare say that you would only meet a hand full of men of his character. I am currently in the reserves and can only hope and pray that Chic's fate does'nt befall me but just in case it does I can only hope pray that I can surround myself with dozens of Chic Burlingames.
MA2 Mark Simpson USNR
Kings Mountain, NC USA - Friday, March 4, 2005 at 1:52 AM.
I served on Saratoga 77-81,and although I was not in a squadron, (ships company E div.) I saw the link about Chic, and got out my 79 med. cruise book, and found his photo. I am a firefighter now,and was on duty on 9/11. We were watching live when the second plane hit the WTC. Needless to say we were shocked and outraged. Even though I never knew Chic I feel he has touched my life! God bless him, and all his family.
Rockingham, N.C. USA - Thursday, June 10, 2004 at 11:02 PM.
Dear Chic, Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Sheri and I attended a memorial service on the south lawn of the White House in which President Bush and the ambassadors from 23 different nations declared their commitment to wipe the scourge of terrorisim from the face of the earth. As I sat there looking at this beautiful historic building, the White House, I could not keep from thinking of you in those final moments six months ago as your plane, on a direct collision course and minutes away, suddenly did a sharp banking turn away from the West Wing before plunging into the Pentagon at over 420 MPH.
We may never know what happened on the airplane that day. But I know this, Chic Burlingame went down swinging. They didn't deserve it, but the cowards who perpetrated this evil act got to see how an American Patriot dies, with courage, dignity and the unwaivering belief that one man can make a difference. You did, Chic. You have. I'll never forget you, big brother. "Popeye-arm" Debra
Pelham, New York USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 9:54 AM.
My condolences to the family of Capt Burlingame. I was in Chic's American Airlines new hire class of June 29,1979. When we were recalled after furlough, I did not return to American Airlines.
I remember Chic as an outstanding young man. One day at the the American Airlines flight academy, we got into discussion about the jets we had flown in the military. Chic did not think much of my Air Force C-141 because he was a fighter pilot. For that reason there is no doubt in my mind he did not give up his jet without a fight. My prayers will always be with his family
Pine Mountain Club, Ca USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 12:24 AM.
I served in VF-103 from 1968 to 1971. I did not have the pleasure of serving with Capt. Burlingame. But my years as a radar technician, whose job it was to debrief Pilots And R.I.O's after sorties, did teach me a great deal about the dedication, loyality, and bravery displayed each and every day by officers much like the Capt. I was very proud to serve under all the officers in my Squadron, Juinor to Senior. Each one of them emulated and acted in the finest traditions that the Navy could possibly require. Becasue VF-103 was absolutly the finest Naval Aviation Squadron ever assembled, I am positive that Capt. Burlingame upheld those traditions with honor and to the highest degree.
I am proud to have served with men of that caliber and considered myself a shipmate of Capt. Burlingame. May he rest in a Hero's peace.
Sincerely, Kenneth E. Silver AQF2, 1968-1971
SARASOTA, FLORIDA USA - Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 2:56 PM.
26 November 2001, sent to many members of USNA '71: US Marines are now engaged on the ground in a hostile foreign land and the war on terrorism ratchets up. I am thankful and secure in the knowledge that all of those wonderful Marines, from BGEN Mattis, the Brigade Commander, on down, at one time or another have almost certainly been directly exposed to the powerful military leadership and personal charisma of our own John Sattler, Commanding General of the Second Marine Division. I am thankful for John's great patriotism and courage, his enormous tenacity, his immense concern for the welfare of all Marines, his great physical and moral strength, and his proven ability to make the right decisions and to get the mission accomplished, and for the extent to which he has imbued the Marine Corps with those values and characteristics. The other side does not have anyone of his caliber...not in Afghanistan, nor anywhere else. Whether directly or indirectly, John now wields the swift and terrible sword that will help avenge Chic's death, and bring those that have and would continue to harm us to justice.
Lusby, MD USA - Monday, December 17, 2001 at 2:02 PM.
To All: Just wanted to add a few things to Lambert's report. Chris Weaver was also present and presented the flag that covered Chic's coffin to his wife Sheri. The Army did a great job for the complete funeral, including the horse drawn caisson that carried Chic's casket to the gravesite. The Navy Honor guard was impressive and consisted of not only the squad that fired the 21 gun salute and honor guard for the casket but also a company of sailors to render honors during the ceremony. Senator George Allen delivered a eulogy that was touching without being political, and presented a Virginia State flag that had flown over Virginia'a state capitol at half mast in honor of Chic. The Washington Times carried a very nice article the next day and reported the number of people attending the funeral at 500. I can only second Bo's comment that it was an altogether fitting tribute to Chic. Dave Vandover LCDR(ret.) USNA Class of 1971
Clifton, VA USA - Monday, December 17, 2001 at 8:15 AM.
Chic's funeral Wednesday, a touchstone for many of us as we struggle with the tragedies of 9/11, was a fittingly elegant and glorious tribute to our fallen classmate, friend, and national hero at the Chapel on Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery.
American Airlines was very well represented by uniformed captains and crewmembers, as they were at Chic's memorial service in the Naval Academy Chapel on 20 September. And of course, also well represented was the Class of '71, USNA. VADM Tim Keating, Fred Klien, Mike Marks, George Flynn and Frank McAfee were among the honorary pall bearers. Tom Laboon, Walt Havenstein, Perry Martini, Jim Gosma, Ross Burkhead, Brian Horais, Chuck and Jan Boyer, Bill Hoover, Finley Foster, CassYoung, DaveVandover, Pete deVos, Teddy Snoots, Ozzie Fretz, Bob Wagoner, and possibly others I regrettably cannot bring to mind at the moment, attended. Please forgive my oversight(s). Tim provided a eulogy, as did Senator George Allen. Tim, soon to be Commander in Chief, Fifth Fleet, highlighted the days we spent together in Bancroft Hall in the late 60s, then reassured us all that the military component of the war on terrorism would be relentless in bringing terrorists to justice. Sen John Warner attended, too. Munt, handsome and suave, read Scripture. The Army provided the traditional caisson and ceremonial chapel ushers. The Navy provided a full Honor Guard and the firing squad. A soloist rendered a memorable Amazing Grace in the Chapel,and the Navy bugler issued a flawless and haunting rendition of taps at the grave. We all walked behind the caisson from the chapel to the grave. A low and solid ceiling, probably about 400 over and 1/2 mile for the aviators, precluded the scheduled fly over. American hosted a lavish reception at the Hilton in Alexandria following the services where we gathered to be of moral support to each other and to Sheri and the proud Burlingame family. The services at the grave appeared live on CNN.
Lusby, MD USA - Friday, December 14, 2001 at 11:02 AM.
As a friend of the family, I have known Chick since he was 11 years old at Bolling AFB.. The upbringing he received from his parents was carried on till that fatal day. They left Bolling to relocate in Los Angeles area and I visited them there twice, was in touch with his parents and knew how well Chic was doing in LA. Then Chic came to the Academy and visited us a few times and he exhibited all the same characteristics that was instilled in him by his parents. I have seen him several times since then and always knew how much he loved his parents, the Navy and flying with American Airlines. The last two times I saw Chic was under unfortunate circumstances � at the death of his father in 1999 and at the death of his mother in 2000. One half of the Burlingame family gone in three years. The last time I spoke to Chic was two weeks before the Navy-Air Force game. I called him to see if he could get us some tickets at mid price range. He said no problem, called and told me he had them and had gotten us a parking ticket also. He was to mail them to us. Unfortunately, September 11th prevented him from mailing them to us. While attending The Memorial Service for Chic at Annapolis, his wife, Sheri, handed me the envelop with the tickets and I told her I would mail the check. She said �No, Chic likes doing it this way� He got us great seats and great parking ticket. Although we are Air Force, on the day of the game, we cheered for Navy and Chic. I must add that Sheri, his wife, by bringing those tickets amongst all the pain she was suffering is to be commended. Everyone who has been close to any member of the present or deceased Burlingames know that you have been in the company of an extraordinary close-knit family. Chic will be truly missed and will always be remembered.
(loving friend or the Burlingames).
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, December 13, 2001 at 7:47 PM.
I am also a member of USNA 71. I was in the drum and bugle corp with Chic at Navy, I am also a carrier pilot and served on USS Saratoga in the 70's too. I am deeply saddened with his loss. My words can not express the sorrow, or the appreciation of having known Chic. I want to express my condolences to his family. God Bless you.
Moses Lake, WA USA - Thursday, December 13, 2001 at 3:57 PM.
Today we laid to rest a fallen comrade, a classmate, a beloved husband, a brother, a friend and a true son of the Navy. This lays heavily on our hearts tonight. We will always remember Chic's sterling character, his kind and giving soul, his strong loyalty to duty and country, his love of family and friends and his never to be forgotten smile. We can each be thankful that we were, in some way, a part of his life. Today, let us put aside our mourning and celebrate his life. This is what he would expect from us - this is what Chic would want us to do. Let us honor him in this way.
, USA - Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 10:22 PM.
I retired from the Navy as a Chief Corpsman, but that is not where I knew Captain Burlingame. I work with him on countless occasion as the Purser Flight Attendant on many of our flights between Dulles and Los Angeles. He was always very professional and made sure his entire crew knew they have his support 100%.
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at 12:37 AM.
We served together in a reserve unit..he was my Ops officer and than Executive officer. I had also been in VF-103 and on the Saratoga some years before him so,in a way we had a "connection". One thing for sure..there was NEVER a dull moment when Chic was around. And..no one wore the uniform with more pride.
Midlothian, Va USA - Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at 12:02 AM.
As a fellow USNA '71 Classmate, Naval Aviator and American Airlines Captain, I'll always remember Chic as one of the best of us. For the rest of my flying days I'll be wearing a miniature set of Navy wings on my uniform - for Chic. We're going to miss you buddy! Try not to be judging us by your standards Chic, OK?
Frank Wnek USNA '71
Captain, American Airlines
Harpswell, Maine USA - Monday, December 10, 2001 at 10:31 PM.
I'm a plankowner of the Sara, and a native New Yorker, the memory of 9/11/01, & those who lost their lives at the WTC, the Pentagon, & PA is permanantly etched into my heart. I hope his family knows they are not alone in their grief & somehow we will survive & go on for them!!
Jacksonville,, FL USA - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 12:20 PM.
The pilot of the plane that was flown into the Pentagon is going to get a burial at Arlington National Cemetery after all. Army officials had earlier denied the request from the family of Charles Burlingame because he didn't meet an age requirement.
VF-103 74-77, USA - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 7:11 AM.
Announced today on CBS, Mr. Burlingame will be buried in Arlington, the Army had previously denied this because he failed to meet an age requirement.
C.M. "Sparky' Anderson
Prospect, Ct USA - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 7:05 AM.
I am proud to serve and follow in the footsteps of such great men. I supported VF-103 during 94' cruise. May good memories linger.
Alton R Abrams
Pinetops , NC USA - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 12:45 AM.
As an enlisted AC aboard the Saratoga in 1978/80. I did not personally know Mr. Burlingame. But I�m sure we crossed paths in the passageways or in Airops/Cattc. I do remember his name on the Stat boards while he made traps aboard the old Sara. Now as a professional Firefighter/Captain and having spent many hours searching for victims and brother firefighters at Ground Zero at the W.T.C. You realize what a small world we do live in. To my fellow shipmates and Brother Firefighters, We must never forget.
To the Burlingame family, Our deepest condolences, and our hopes that in time your sorrows will turn to happier times and the fond remembrances of our loved ones
, USA - Sunday, December 2, 2001 at 8:41 AM.
My name is John Miner,and I was attached to VF-103 and deployed on the USS Saratoga during 1986-1990.Even though I did not personally know Chic, I feel deeply honored to have served in the same Squadron as him!I feel that Chic is a Hero!
Rochesteer, New York USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 7:44 PM.
As Chic's friend, classmate and fellow naval aviatr and fighter pilot, I will always remember Chic whenever I see blue sky above and the sun at my back. My wife, Mary Ann and I were privelged to spend several social occasions with Chic, and saw how his warm smile made everyone feel welcome and accepted. May his memory be eternal.
John Conkey '71
Mary Ann Conkey
Port Matilda, Pa USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 2:23 PM.
Chic lived his life fully and with great exuberance; he died a fighting hero. Both his life and his death shall serve to inspire countless others as we go forward. The world is a better place because of Chic, I'm proud to be his classmate. Lambert Heikes USNA '71
Lexington Park, MD USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 12:06 PM.
Our Classmate Chic has made the ultimate sacrifice - we all know he went down swinging. Although we lived on opposite sides of Bancroft Hall, I remember seeing Chic around The Yard and later at Pcola where we worked together to earn our wings. Please know the rest of us, Chic's extended family, share your grief and sorrow. USNA '71
Carlisle, PA USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 8:53 AM.
Chic was always a class act that we wanted to emulate and follow. I particular thing I remember of Chic was that when we got our wings of gold, Viet Nam was drawing down and not as many pilots were needed in the Fleet. Chic was one of the few of us who got F-4 orders directly to the Fleet out of the Training Command. He was the man! And will be sorely missed....
J. T. Morris
Annandale, VA USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 7:45 AM.
Living in Northern Virginia, I have had the "opportunity" several times to drive by the section of the Pentagon hit by Chic's plane and see the result of that attack. As the word got out that a claasmate was the Captain of the aircraft, it came immediately clear that the tragedy has touched so many of us - there are very short "degrees of separation" for all of us. For you, that degree of separation does not exist and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Warrenton, VA USA - Monday, November 5, 2001 at 10:02 AM.
To the Burlingame family: When I saw Chic's picture flash on the news, I pulled out my Luckybag to see if it was really him. I'm not sure if I knew Chic from classes we shared, midshipman cruise or flight school, because we were not close friends. But I knew him well enough to remember a classmate I was proud to have served with. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Bob St.Germain, Class of 71
Houston, Texas USA - Monday, November 5, 2001 at 9:35 AM.
To Sheri and all the Family - I'm still thinking of Chic and the great smile he always had. He never failed to light up a conversation, and from time as midshipment together through USNA Homecoming Golf Tournaments, to Class of '71 DC luncheons, he never failed to be an all around great guy. I miss him and will forever thank him for his loyal service to his country and our Holy Cause of Liberty - he was a freedom warrior, and may lives are better because Chic lived. Take care, Sheri, and all of Chic's family - our thoughts and prayers remain with you. Terry & Mary Ellen Foust
Oakton, VA USA - Sunday, November 4, 2001 at 11:57 PM.
Dear Mrs. Burlingame,
Although I didn't serve with Chic after graduation, I wanted to let you know how very proud I am to be called his classmate (USNA '71). You & your family are in my prayers. May God give you comfort & peace. Patrick Dunford
Hopewell, VA USA - Saturday, November 3, 2001 at 11:26 PM.
I served onboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60) in �79, and while at sea I spent a lot of time on deck watching the many squadrons including VF-103 Sluggers Launch and trap both in the day light hours and well into the night. I am sure in one of those many times the aircraft from VF-103 I view, Chic was probably at the controls of the F-4 Phantom. I never personally knew Chic, but I do know he was doing what he loved to do the most back on September 11th... He was "Flying."
God Bless Chic, and May God Bless America
, New Jersey USA - Saturday, November 3, 2001 at 1:05 AM.
As the events of Sept. 11 unfolded I wondered what the chances were of knowing someone involved in the tragedy. I was shocked and saddened to read Chic's name on TV. I was a classmate of Chic's. We didn't know each other very well..had a few classes together over the years. But I knew him well enough to remember that smile. I've since tried to remember when we might have seen each other last. It was probably in Pensacola in early 1972...maybe during our preflight classes or while grabbing a burger at the BOQ. It was a long time ago, and a greater portion of our lives has past since. But that doesn't lessen the sorrow. It is amazing the bond we share as Academy grads and particularly classmates. To Chic's family: it was my pleasure and honor to have known him. God bless you all....and God Bless America.
Idaho Falls, Idaho USA - Friday, November 2, 2001 at 4:21 PM.
I'm so sorry for the loss of Chic. My condlences to all of Chic's Family and Friends. Today I have added Chic's name to a list of Friends I lost on 11 Sept. 2001. classmate's 1967 Anaheim H.S.
Col. John McCall USAF
Everett, WA USA - Thursday, November 1, 2001 at 3:03 PM.
My sympathy on your loss.
I didn't graduate from Navy but, I've always followed the class. I did attend the 30th reunion and the thing that struck me was that I missed serving in the fleet.
I was thinking of being a Marine and pounding the ground In SE Asia. I at times wonder "how I'd do" in combat. The conclusion I've reached is that I will never know. All I know is that I answered the call to serve.
We all did and once we took the oath, we all made a life-long commitment to serve. Chic answered the ultimate call. I don't know if I could.
I know that doesn't fill the hole in your life - just words - but, I hope they provide some comfort.
Jerry Chiurazzi (a friend of USNA '71)
Stow, Ohio USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 10:14 PM.
Though Chic lived just down the P-way, I'm afraid that I don�t recall meeting him. He flew, I drove ships. It was unlikely that our paves would ever cross. Our interests seemed destined to keep us on different tracks, unknown to each other, until now. Your country misses you, your classmates miss you, I miss you. Thank you for your service classmate.
Lake Stevens, Wa USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 2:01 PM.
As a member of the USNA class of 1968, I never knew Chic at Annapolis. I met him in 1981, when he was introduced to me as the Customer Support representative in Lockheed's Arlington, VA (Washington, DC) office. Even though Chic had no background or experience in the P-3C aircraft he supported, he provided outstanding service to the NAVAIR customer and the U.S. Navy P-3C community. Like me, Chic was also a fellow Navy Reservist, so we traded many a "sea story". I was truly shocked and saddened when I heard Chic was the Pilot-in-Command of American Flt 77 on that tragic September day. The USA lost a great man and the Navy lost an outstanding "Shipmate". God bless you, Chic. You will truly be missed.
, USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 1:22 PM.
My condolences to Mr. Burlingame's family, I proudly served with him in VF-103.
C. M. "Sparky" Anderson VF-103 (74-77)
Prospect, CT USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 9:07 AM.
Chuck was one of us - one of the best of us. He is a testament to family, to the influence of his father, an honor to the Naval Academy tradition and an honor to the principles of our country. He was a plebe when I was a first class midshipman. His loss will always be felt but the way he lived made a real difference. God Speed, Chic, to you and all our departed shipmates.
Davenport, IA USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 10:22 AM.
I want to add my condolences to those of our '71 Classmates. To is clear from these messages that Chic lives in the hundreds of hearts of his loved ones, friends, colleagues and '71 Classmates. Chic epitomized all the virtues we value. I am honored to be able to call him Classmate. Dan McConnnell '71
Atlanta , Georgia USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 9:50 AM.
Chic was a classmate of mine at USNA. Since we lived in opposite ends of Bancroft Hall, I didn't get to know him well. But I had the opportunity to attend his memorial service in the USNA chapel last month. From that experience, I got to see the many beautiful qualities of Chic. I also felt his presence as the entire congregation of classmates, other shipmates, and American Airlines crews went thru a process that can't be adequately described in words. So Chic, thanks for the love and healing that our planet needs! To his family, you have my deepest condolences for your tragic loss.
Dillonvale, OH USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 8:37 AM.
I was a classmate of Chic's, in 19th and then 1st Company with him at USNA. I remember him from the first day - a California boy full of enthusiasm, with a smile to match. Our group scattered, but Chic was the force that kept us together, gathering addresses and e-mails, letting everyone know about each other. The shock of hearing that he was the pilot of Flight 77 was indescribable. I know Chic did everything he could that terrible day, just like he always did. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and fellow workers at American Airlines. I'm sure he was pleased with the impressive turn-out at the Memorial Service at Annapolis. This is a great loss to us all.
Basking Ridge, NJ USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 8:14 AM.
Chic was a USNA classmate, and I remember him very well - he and I played in the Drum and Bugle Corps together for three years. I attended Chic's memorial service in Annapolis and told numerous folks there that didn't know him as well as I did that he was just the nicest guy you ever want to meet. I will always remember Chic's radiant smile, which didn't even seem to dim even during the darkest days of Plebe Year. He always seemed to find something positive about our circumstances then. I saw Chic once or twice since we graduated, at USNA class reunions, and was not surprised to hear that he had become such a successful pilot and husband and father. My prayers and condolences go out to all of his family and friends. We have lost a true friend and shipmate and hero.
Falls Church, VA USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 7:51 AM.
What a complete tragedy for the Burlingame family. Our prayers are with you and for your healing. May it help to know that there are friends of Chic all around the world whose lives he has touched in some way. I will remember Chis not just as a classmate but a classy guy. Our prayers are with the Burlingames.
Dub Hay '71
Sonoma, Ca. USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 7:44 AM.
I was shocked when I got to Annapolis in the early evening of 20 Sept and found out that Chic had been the pilot of the flight that took off that morning and later, under other hands, crashed into the Pentagon. Chic is missed greatly. My sincere condolences to his family. Hugh Marcy, '71.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 5:34 AM.
We send our sincere condolences to Chic's family. He served his country with honor. John Held USNA '71
Issaquah, WA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 10:22 PM.
Not a day goes by that without thoughts of Chic and the loss his family has suffered. I've never met his wife and kids but I hope that my thoughts and prayers give them a small measure of strength each day. Thirty years ago we spent four wonderful (at times) years together, I will never forget you.
Eric Benson, USNA 71
Coats, NC USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 6:35 PM.
Please accept our deepest sympathy on your loss. We share in your sorrow and in marking that tragic day in our hearts and memories forever.
Dan Whitford, USNA '71
Vienna, VA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 5:08 PM.
My condolences to Chic's family for their great loss. At the 30th reunion and memorial services, Chic was very much in our thoughts. Mark Cooksey USNA '71
Portland, OR USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 3:17 PM.
Chic was a classmate from the Naval Academy, fellow Naval Aviator and good friend. He will be greatly missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to know him. I will always remember his smile and willingness to go out of his way to lend assistance. Chic, you will always be remembered. God Bless.
Plano, TX USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 2:32 PM.
He had so much going for him and so much more to give. I was at his memorial service service and searching for survivors at ground zero in New York on 12 Sept. The sense of loss at both events was overwhelming. You will be missed classmate. Jim Bryant USNA 1971
Jim "Bear" Bryant
Manassas, VA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 1:39 PM.
As members of the Class of '71, Chic and the rest of us understood the bond of our Navy heritage from the moment we did our first push-ups and come-arounds together. Not many in this world have had the good fortune of sharing a lifetime together that the Naval Academy creates by putting us together as young Midshipmen. Chic and I shared classes, flight training, apartment complexes and carrier flying together. I loved the red Chevelle Super Sport and still seek to maintain his level of exactness, perfection and precision in folding my skivvies. He embodied the epitome of being a classmate, friend, father, and pilot. We will all miss him and forever define him as a true hero. God bless all of us. M.K. "Foot" Wilson, '71
Captain Michael K. "Foot" Wilson, USNR (RET)
Atlanta, GA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 11:51 AM.
I had one of my first classes plebe year - calculus - with Chic, and remember how the professor always asked him the questions because he always seemed to know the answer. The words I always remembered most from that instructor, Lt. Davis, were "What about that, Mister Burlingame?" Sheri, Debra, Brad, and Mr. and Mrs. Burlingame Sr., while I have never met you, I know that you are living what is the worst nightmare for all of us, and I want you to know that I care. I work with several online grief support groups and will be glad to do what I can to help. Wherever Chic is, I know that he is proud of what you are doing for him. I know his spirit will always be there to guide his fellow pilots.
Virginia Beach, VA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 11:11 AM.
Chic and I were classmates, had classes together at USNA, went through flight training together, flew F4s on opposite coasts and flew for American Airlines together. He was a great guy and I miss him. It made my day to see him around the American Ailines system and I was looking forward to seeing him at our class reunion. Unfortunately, he was only there in spirit. God Speed Chic.
Wilton, CT USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 10:16 AM.
I was a classmate, I knew Chic, and I share the sentiments about how close Chic's involvement brought the events of 9/11 home to me. My wife was able to attend the memorial service at Annapolis, and shared with me how moved she was. Sorry I could not be there, but please accept my condolences from afar. There are few bonds like those of Academy classmates, and I am truly saddened by Chic's loss.
San Diego, CA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 8:54 AM.
As a classmate of Chic's and fellow naval aviator I feel a very special bond to him and his family. He was truly a hero, who that day was called to do his duty. He will remain in our memories until we are all reunited together one day.
San Diego, CA USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 12:59 AM.
We will always remember Chic as a wonderful friend and classmate in USNA Class of 1971 and then as a fellow student/pilot sharing the good old days in Pensacola during flight training in 1972. This wonderful patriot will never be forgotten by those who served with him!
Rear Admiral & Mrs. Dave Polatty
Lake Bluff, Illinois USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 12:49 AM.
As a classmate of Chic's, I extend my condolences to the family and am so proud to have known a real American hero. Warmest wishes to all of you. Jeff & Beth Albright
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 12:03 AM.
I had the distinct pleasure of being a Classmate of Chic's at the Naval Acadamy and fellow pilot at American. As so many others have shared here, I'll always remember his cheerful manner and professional excellence. He will be missed by many. I'm proud to have shared a portion of his life experiences.
Errett "EJ" Bozarth
Grapevine, Texas USA - Saturday, October 27, 2001 at 11:47 PM.
After 34 years I still remember quite clearly the words of our Plebe summer squad leader telling us that classmates at USNA form a special bond that transcends all time and space. Being 3000 miles away from the devastation in the Pentagon, New York City, and the fields of Pennsylvania softened the blow of the terrible events of 9-11-2001. . . UNTIL I heard that one of our classmates was at the controls of one of the ill-fated airplanes. That bit of knowledge really brought the events close to home. My sincere condolences to all of Chic's family and friends and to the families of the passengers on his plane that I know he did his best to save.
John Bickford, CDR, USN (Ret) '71
Richland, Wa USA - Saturday, October 27, 2001 at 12:27 PM.
Just another citizen but former U.S. Navy enlisted. I just want to add that I also feel he reisited the take over and my condolances to his family
Palm Harbor, Florida USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 7:10 PM.
Chic was a classmate of our son Capt James R. Maris, USN'71(SSN) Now with Westinghouse. Our condolence to the Family from a another Navy Family. VR GB Bill
Lt. William L. Maris, USN (Ret-LDO)
Anacortes, WA USA - Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 3:50 AM.
I well recall Captain Burlingame as one of my squad leaders during Plebe Year. He was decent, level-headed and squared-away -- he set a fine example to follow. He also had a quiet toughness about him, a strength of character that I'm certain guided him in meeting adversity in his final moments. I am honored to have known him. -Dave Kaskie, USNA Class of 1974
Naperville, IL USA - Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 1:01 PM.
I knew Chic at USNA and last saw him at Christmas with Sheri. My emotions still run high when I recall that tragic incident and know that Chic went down swinging. I echo the comments of the others here on Chic's qualities and character. Chic's memorial at USNA has been one of the most memorable events in my life seeing how many people loved Chic and how much being an Alum from USNA means to all of us. We miss you Chic and know that you are watching over us. Tom Laboon USNA '71
Haymarket, VA USA - Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 9:30 AM.
I didn't have the pleasure of knowing "Chic", but from all I've heard and read, it's quite obvious he was the man we would all like to be. On behalf of the USS Saratoga Association, and the 65,000 sailors who walked her decks during her 38 years of service to our great country, we extend our sincere condolances and prayers to Chic's family and loved ones. He has made the Saratoga family proud.
SuperSara@Prodigy.Net President - U.S.S. Saratoga Association
, USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 12:34 PM.
I did not know Capt.Burlingame but I was onboard Saratoga at the same time in Attack Squadron 37.Our prayers are with your family.Thank God for men like Capt. Burlingame!
2214 Basin Cr. Rd.,Burlington, North Carolina, 27217 USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 10:24 AM.
I knew Chick at USNA and had several classes with him - I remember him as a very fine individual with a great sense of humor. I feel honored to have known him. Ross
Ross S. Dessert
Kirkland, Wa USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 11:18 AM.
I had the pleasure of having Chic as a friend during the years he was at the Naval Academy. Having dated another Midshipman we all spent a lot of time together. I will always thank him for the encouragement he gave me when I went to apply for United Airlines as a Flight Attendant. It has been more than 30 years and I am still flying and will continue do so. Thank you Chic and watch over us as we fly.
Los Angeles, California USA - Sunday, October 21, 2001 at 4:13 PM.
Chic was a classmate of mine at USNA and I knew him a little...he had an innocent look, but sparkling eyes and a great smile...a very nice guy...my condolences to his family...rest in peace, Chic....
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 4:03 PM.
I am a nongraduating member of the USNA Class of '71 now working for American Airlines. My son is a '96 grad flying strike missions in F-18's off the USS Carl Vinson over Afghanistan. We have spoken about Chic via email. Chic will not be forgotten. Our thoughts are with his family.
Richardson, Texas USA - Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 11:10 AM.
I was a little before his time, grad 1964, but I have always admired the pilots and what they have done for our country!
Charles T Higgins
Chattanooga, TN USA - Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 10:55 AM.
Chic was a classmate of mine but I didn't know him. Having read his story and knowing that he surely did the best he could to protect his passengers and his plane, I'm sorry I didn't. He and others like him enrich our lives. They remind me why I went to USNA in the first place and was proud to serve. He will continue to set an example for me.
Alexandria, VA USA - Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 10:18 AM.
Chic was a classmate and great friend. Every time I fly (which is often) I think of him. Rest in Peace.
J. Scott Burd
Idyllwild, CA USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 1:43 PM.
Chic was enough of a man to become a symbol of what was taken from us on 9-11. His memorial service combined the personal memories, the humanity, and the heroism of our class, our school, and our country. Well Done, Chic
Virginia Beach, Va USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 1:36 PM.
I got to know Chic as a USNA 71 Classmate and companymate. No one could know Chic without noticing his smile and sense of humor. He was the integrator to keep our company in contact. I do miss him and rest assured he lived up to the tradition. I was so glad to attend the fitting tribute was had at USNA Chaple.
Cohasset, Ma USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 1:15 PM.
As a classmate of Chic's at Anaheim High School I was deeply saddened by the news that his plane was one that went down. As a member of the drill team while he was in band we spent many hours marching together for the pride of the Blue and Gold. My deepest sympathy to his family and close friends. From what I have read he was truly a special person and I am proud to say I knew him .
The reunion committee for the class of "67" at Anaheim High School has set up a yearly scholarship in his memory for a deserving band student who exemplifies outstanding citizenship. Thanks to all who helped make this possible.
Anaheim, Ca USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 12:30 PM.
To Chick's family, friends, and loved ones.
As a classmate of Chick's I would like to express my condolences for your loss. Your loss was also our class's loss, our Academy's loss, and our Nation's loss, and we grieve with you. We remember his smile, his love of life and family, and his love for flying. We,too, shall miss him.
Bob Morris, USNA 1971
, USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 12:08 PM.
As a friend and fellow USNA '71 classmate, I will clearly miss Chuck, his smile, and his professionalism. Working for Jacobs providing professional services, I often fly. Each flight I remember Chuck and 091101. I can feel that Chuck, and other past Naval Aviators, including my father, are "along on the flight". I'm convinced that Chuck went down swinging on a "sucker pitch", but he will be proud to know that the American people are clearly winning the ballgame.
Knoxville, TN USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 10:00 AM.
It's so hard to think of what to say. Chick was a unique, wonderful individual. I'm proud of the fact that our paths crossed in life. My prayers are for Chick and his family and legion of friends. May God bless Chick, and may God bless America.
Gregory Dies, USNA Class of 1971
, USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 9:02 AM.
A fitting tribute to a classmate and true "leader of men". Chic truly lived up to the motto of the Naval Academy Class of 1971: "duces virum" (leaders of men)
Brian Horais Former Class Secretary USNA Class of 1971
Arlington, VA USA - Friday, October 19, 2001 at 8:39 AM.
I knew Chic from the first day of Plebe summer in 1967. He had a level of enthusiasm for life that I could only envy. His smile lit up a room. He died a hero and I will miss him greatly. Dan Rowe, Class of 1971
Pensacola, FL USA - Wednesday, October 17, 2001 at 12:50 PM.
Chic will always be remembered for being a true CLASSMATE. As the President of the Class of 1971, I could always count on Chic rolling up his sleeves, being a go-to guy and getting the job done. He financially supported the Class of '71 Leadership Endowment Fellow and his benevolence to a fund committed to "Leadership" is truly a fitting legacy to Chic's life. He was a friend and classmate and we will miss him. He died gallantly as a true hero for others to emulate.
Captain Perry Martini, USN (Ret.)
Annapolis, MD USA - Wednesday, October 17, 2001 at 7:49 AM.
[My brother] Chic was a terrific guy, in case you haven't met anyone yet who knew him. He loved the Navy and actively participated in a foundation that mentored young people considering attending Annapolis and a career in the Navy. It doesn't surprise me at all that you have his signature in your guest book.
Saturday, October 13, 2001 at 11:00 PM.
Charles "Chic" Frank Burlingame will always be remembered for his endearing smile. He cut a swath through life like no one before him...
Above all Chic will be remembered for his caring. His unbelievable smile that never let you feel down. The way his indomitable spirit and unquenchable energy gave you a feeling that he was going to make everything better. He helped in the ways that will make him unforgettable to all of us.
Much more than words can describe, Chic was a CLASSMATE. The word has true meaning to those who have grown to know how important they are to us.
Mike Marks, USNA Class of 1971
Saturday, October 13, 2001 at 9:55 PM.
Chic was a gifted pilot, wonderful father, terrific friend and fabulous classmate. Whenever someone needed help, Chic was first to volunteer time, car, house, whatever he had that would help.
We'll miss him deeply.
T. J. KEATING
Vice Admiral, US Navy
Tuesday, October 9, 2001 at 5:12 PM.
He was sometimes known as 'Gramps' because of the famous red bedroom slippers he always wore at the Academy. He was not one to sucumb to peer pressure. He was fastidious in all ways. His personal belongings and his home were always spotless if he could help it, to the point that he was the butt of many jokes about it - but he perservered. He rarely lost his temper. While the other fellows would squabble and bitch over who put in how much money for the beer and who was going to go get it, Chic stayed on the edge of the fray and watched. There are many who never saw him lose his composure. The most he would do was to kind of shrug his shoulders and tuck his neck down like a turtle - that was his expression of anger.
A friend of the family
Tuesday, October 9, 2001 at 5:10 PM.
I was in HS-7, as a pilot for the Dusty Dogs '75-'78. Airwing was CVW-3. Please remember Chic Burlingame, a VF-103 Slugger who died as the pilot in command of the AA77 crashed into the Pentagon on 9-11-01. Chic was not only a shipmate of ours but also a classmate of mine from the Naval Academy Class of 1971; a double loss. I know that all Sara shipmates join me in commemorating Chic and his service to the country. Gone but never forgotten!!!
Capt. Steve Bruce, USNR (ret.) email@example.com
Fairfax Station, VA USA - Friday, October 5, 2001 at 5:08 PM.
Last Updated: 4 Mar 05