Art Burer was born on September 9, 1932, in San Antonio, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 20, 1951, and was trained in aircraft maintenance. Sgt Burer completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a 2Lt in the Air Force on September 20, 1957, and was awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, in October 1958. His first officer assignment was with the 3750th Technical Training Group at Sheppard AFB, Texas, from November 1958 to October 1959, followed by Basic Instructor School and then service as a flight instructor with the 3641st Pilot Training Squadron at Laredo AFB from February 1960 to June 1965. After completing RF-101 Voodoo upgrade training, Capt Burer served as an RF-101 pilot with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Misawa AB, Japan, from November 1965 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam while on temporary duty to Southeast Asia and was taken as a Prisoner of War on March 21, 1966. After spending 2,521 days in captivity, Maj Burer was 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 the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
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.