Alfred Wilder Burnside Jr.

b. 9 August 1920, d. 10 July 1983
  • Alfred Wilder Burnside Jr. was born on 9 August 1920 in Texas.
  • Alfred Wilder Burnside and Fannie Kate Wood appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1930 in Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Texas, at 2200 Cooke, Country Club Estate Sub-Division. Other members of the household included Alfred Wilder Burnside Jr.
  • Alfred Wilder Burnside and Fannie Kate Wood appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1940 in Wichita County, Texas. Other members of the household included Alfred Wilder Burnside Jr., Robert Emmett Burnside. They were living in the same house in 1935.
  • He was attending college and farming, according to the 1940 census.
  • He married Alice Mary Gallagher.
  • The following appeared on 4 March 1952 in The Dallas Morning News: [Letter to the Editor] Since the universal military training bill is now being considered in Washington and since I have seen how draftees are treated in peacetime military service, I ask that you pass this information on to your readers.
         The Army, Navy, and Air Force are businesses in themselves and they are naturally interested in having their regular members trained to the highest degree, rather than in training young men who upon completion of their draft period will return to civilian life. It is considered in the service that it takes at least one year to train a man for any specific job. Therefore, the regular would be trained and the draftee used as his replacement for guard duty, K. P. duty, messengers, boys to keep the lawns clean, etc.
         I personally do not want my boy to be forced to a year or so of servitude for the armed forces and to waste that period of his life from either his education or his chosen profession. Do you?
         A. W. Burnside, Route 1, Krum, Texas.
  • The following appeared on 23 October 1954 in The Dallas Morning News: [Letter to the Editor] When I read about one person receiving the death penalty for a certain crime in this state and another person five years in the penitentiary for a similar crime, I feel that we need a new system for dealing out the actual sentence.
         Granted, a person should be tried by a judge and jury, but let them decide only the guilt or innocence of the accused, and let a central body in Austin, call it what you may, of say five persons (who do not see the color of a person's skin or the finery of his clothes) decide the actual sentence.
         In this way, by an accumulation of cases, maybe similar cases would receive like sentences.
         This is only a basic plan. Perhaps it may take root and grow.
         A. W. Burnside, Route 1, Krum, Texas.
  • The following appeared on 15 September 1955 in The Dallas Morning News: A Marine reserve lieutenant colonel from Krum, Denton County, narrowly escaped death late Wednesday morning when his Navy blue F-9F7 Couger jet crashed onto the Naval Air Station on the shor of Mountain Creek Lake.
         The pilot, Lt. Col. Alfred W. Burnside Jr., 35, was extricated from the wreckage only after about 50 men lifted the left wing of the upside-down plane, permitting access to the critically injured pilot.
         Rushed to Veterans Administration Hospital at Lisbon, Colonel Burnside, a farmer and father of three children, fought for his life during the remainder of the day.
         Naval Air Station officers said the reserve pilot, who ws on a 2-week active duty training cruise, was coming in for a landing when his plane crashed about 500 feet west of the juncture of Cottonwood Creek and Mountain Creek Lake.
         "Ten more feet and he would have drowned inthe lake--we never would have got him out in time to save him," said E. L. Townley, assistant fire chief for the Naval Air Station and Hensley Field.
         The navy fighter jet struck the ground a glancing blow, strewed wreckage for 500 feet, then crashed upside-down into a wire fence at the water's edge.
         The right wing sheared off, and among the wreckage were the plane's machine guns, unloaded.
         Cause of the crash was undetermined by investigating officers at the scene.
         "The pilot wasn't flying in the established pattern," said one officer unofficially. "He was waved off by the control tower when he made his landing approach."
         Then Colonel Burnside, a 218-pound, 6-foot-3 World War II veteran, apparently failed to regain altitude. His powerful jet, landing gear down, struck the earth and missed a Navy garbate detail truck by only five feet. It hurtled 500 feet before coming to a final rest.
         "I had my back to the plane and just happened to turn around," said James Medlin, Navy sanitation employee. "It was coming right at me. I just stood there by the side of the truck. After it ws over I thought of some prayers."
         The truck driver, Thornton (Preacher) Alexander, who in extra hours is pastor of Lewisville's Church of God in Christ, said he stayed in the truck as the plane zoomed by. "It crashed 20 feet from us, and I drove the truck right off in case it exploded," he said.
         The injured pilot, Colonel Burnside, was born in Wichita Falls. He played basketball and competed in track at New Mexico Military Institute. In World War II as a Marine transport pilot, he flew mission to Iwo Jima, Guam and Okinawa. His plane Wednesday, the F-9F7 Couger jet, is a first-line navy fighter.
         His wife, Alice Mary Burnside, was notified at their farm home on Route I, Krum, by a Marine officer who drove from town to break the news. The house has no telephone. The couple has three children, Julia Ann, 9; Marilyn, 7; and Dennis Drew, 5.
  • Alfred Wilder Burnside Jr. died on 10 July 1983 at age 62 in Pinellas County, Florida.
  • His wife Alice Mary Gallagher became a widow at his death.
  • He was interred at Royal Palm South Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.
  • Last Edited: 30 Nov 2013

Family: Alice Mary Gallagher b. 19 April 1921, d. 18 August 1988