Arthur  W. "Art"  Burer  
  Rank, Service
Colonel O-6,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Air Force 1951-1983
Cold War 1951-1983
Vietnam War 1965-1973 (POW)

Art Burer was born on September 3, 1932, in San Antonio, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 20, 1951, and was trained in aircraft maintenance, serving as an aircraft maintenance technician at Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C., until he entered Officer Candidate School in February 1957. SSgt Burer graduated from OCS and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on September 20, 1957, and he then completed pilot training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, in October 1958. His next assignment was as an aircraft maintenance officer and branch chief with the 3750th Technical Training Group (later redesignated the 3750th Technical School) at Sheppard AFB, Texas, from November 1958 to October 1959, followed by Basic Instructor School at Craig AFB, Alabama, from October 1959 to February 1960. Capt Burer served as a flight instructor and academic instructor with the 3641st Pilot Training Squadron and the 3640th Pilot Training Group at Laredo AFB, Texas, from February 1960 to June 1965, and during this time he received an Operation Bootstrap assignment to the University of Omaha to complete his bachelor's degree from November 1963 to June 1964. He next completed Tactical Reconnaissance Training ant RF-101C Voodoo combat crew training from June to September 1965, followed by service as an RF-101C pilot with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Misawa AB, Japan, from October 1965 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam while on temporary duty to South Vietnam on March 21, 1966. He was immediately captured and taken as a Prisoner of War, and spent the next 2,521 days in captivity before being released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and then attended pilot requalification training and pilot instructor training with the 560th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB, Texas, from August 1973 to May 1974. His next assignment was as an instructor pilot with the 83rd Flying Training Squadron and on the staff of the 78th Flying Training Wing at Webb AFB, Texas, from May 1974 to May 1978, followed by an assignment to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., from May 1978 to May 1979. Col Burer next served with the 3380th Technical Training Group at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, from May 1979 to February 1982, and then as Commander of the 3750th Air Base Group at Sheppard AFB from February 1982 until his retirement from the Air Force on September 1, 1983. Art Burer died on April 13, 2010, and was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. His widow, Nancy Ann Burer (1932-2021), is buried with him.

His Silver Star Citation reads:

For the Period October 1966. This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the above period while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. This individual resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Prisoner of War
North Vietnam
21 March 1966 - 12 February 1973



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