To search the full text of this finding aid, type Ctrl and F on a PC. Mac users, type Command and F. A box will appear in the browser window. To search the full document, Open All must be selected first in the Detailed Description of the Collection.

Inventory of the George Detwiler Burges Collection, 1929-1944

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: George Detwiler Burges graduated from the College of Charleston in 1938. He served as a B-17 pilot during World War II and was killed in action in 1944. This collection consists of Burges' personal papers, letters, military records, photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, and military decorations including the Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Title: George Detwiler Burges collection
Creator: Burges, George Detwiler, 1917-1944
Date(s): 1929-1944    
Extent: 3.0 linear feet
(1 document box, 2 oversize flat boxes)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 0095
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

George Detwiler Burges graduated from the College of Charleston in 1938 and was an accomplished athlete who excelled in basketball and swimming. He was a veteran of the first American bombings of the European continent. After a year of action and 51 bombing missions, he returned to the United States and spent about ten months training pilots. Later, he formed a bombing squadron of 12 Flying Fortresses. He was sent back to England and took part in the first United States and Royal Air Force bombing raids of France. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Army Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. He was killed in action over Manfredonia, Italy, when his plane collided with another B-17 aircraft in 1944.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of magazine and newspaper articles, military promotion papers, bombing raid reports, transfer orders, discharge papers, witness reports, military decorations, correspondence, photographs and other documents about George Detwiler Burges.

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Burges, George Detwiler, 1917-1944
    • College of Charleston--Alumni and alumnae
    • United States. Army Air Forces--Biography


    • Bomber pilots--United States
    • B-17 bomber
    • Fighter pilots--United States--Biography
    • World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American
    • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Europe
    • World War, 1939-1945--Medals
    • Military decorations--United States
    • Purple Heart
    • Distinguished Flying Cross (Medal)

    Types of Material

    • Black-and-white photographs
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Certificates
    • Diplomas
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Magazines (periodicals)
    • Medals
    • Military records
    • Orders (military records)
    • Photocopies
    • Pistols


    Biographical file   box 1 | folder 1

    Newspaper clippings, 1937-1945   box 1 | folder 2

    U.S. Army orders and correspondence, 1940 November-1941 December   box 1 | folder 3

    U.S. Army orders and correspondence, 1942 January-1945 January   box 1 | folder 4

    Army Wings 1941, published for the graduates of class 41-1, Southeast Aircorps Training Center   box 1 | folder 5

    Pilot flight record and log book, 1941 May 5-July 7   box 1 | folder 6

    Pilot's log, 1941 May-December   box 1 | folder 7

    U.S. Army individual flight records, 1941 July-1944 March   box 1 | folder 8

    Cochran Control, Aviations Cadet official publication, Cochran Field, Macon Ga., 1941 September   box 1 | folder 9

    Two copies.

    U.S. Army flying equipment receipts and lists, 1941-1943   box 1 | folder 10

    Letters to the Misses Burges, 1942 October 3, 1943 March 24   box 1 | folder 11

    St. John's Lutheran Church, service for men and women now in the service of our country, 1943 May 23   box 1 | folder 12

    Includes a list.

    The fighting 463rd: a narrative and pictorial history of the 463rd Bombardment Group (H), Harold Rubin, 1945-1949   box 1 | folder 13

    Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Italy   box 1 | folder 14

    Brochure and color photographs.

    Photographs of George D. Burges, undated.   box 1 | folder 15

    Six black and white photographs of George D. Burges on the steps of a house in Charleston, S.C.; Four black and white photographs of George D. Burges in uniform.

    Photographs of the crew taken in England after the raid on Abbeville, France, 1942 August 19   box 1 | folder 16

    This photograph appeared in Life magazine in September 14,1942. Includes list of crew. 2 copies.

    Photographs of "Berlin Sleeper"   box 1 | folder 17

    The crew in class, playing volleyball, airfield in England, outside quarters, in the air getting information for a raid, loading up the guns, and clouds over the Channel.

    Objects   box 2
    Model 1911 service pistol and holster
    World War II medals: Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Army Air Medal and two flying wings.

    Oversize materials, 1929-1944   box 3
    Bennett Public School Certificate of Merit, 1929 June 14
    Charleston High School Diploma, 1933 June 9
    Gymnasium Carolopolitanum Award, 1933 June 9
    College of Charleston Diploma, 1938 May 24
    U.S. Army Air Corps Training Center Diploma, 1941 December 12
    Purple Heart certificate, 1944
    Two photographs of B-17s in formation and dropping bombs
    Life magazines: 1942 April 6, 1942, September 14, 1943 March 1

    Articles on air task force, American planes on bombing missions and Life's Bourke-White goes Bombing.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Detwiler Burges collection, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Julius Burges, Edward D. Buckley, and W. Rieppe Mehrtens in 2002 and 2004.

    Processing Information

    Originally processed by Special Collections staff, 2002.

    Edited and reprocessed for encoding by Martha McTear, November 2012.

    Encoded by Gillian Cote, November 2012.

    Reviewed, edited, and uploaded by Martha McTear, February 2013.

    Table of Contents