This ride segment is dedicated to:
Captain Charles F. Burlingame
American Airlines Flight 77
Charles F. Burlingame, better known as Chic, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1949. He was the oldest of four. Due to his father's military career in the Air Force, Chic spent a great deal of his childhood on the move, much of it in Anaheim, California. He graduated from Anaheim High School in 1967 where he played the trumpet in the marching band and later in the Drum and Bugle Corps at Annapolis. Upon graduating from Anaheim High, he received a presidential appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. From there he was sent to flight school in Pensacola, Florida and later to tactical school in Corpus Christi, Texas where he fulfilled his childhood dreams and became a Naval aviator.
Chic flew F-4 Phantoms as a carrier-based fighter pilot aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga in the Atlantic fleet. He completed three Mediterranean cruises before leaving active service in 1979 at which time he was hired by American Airlines, eventually becoming a 767-757 Captain. He continued to serve as a member of the Navy Reserves. In 1990 he volunteered and was activated for the Gulf War, working for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon. As a reservist in the Navy Reserves he rose to the rank of Captain and earned the "Defense Superior Service Medal". In 1996 Chic and Sheri, an American Airlines Flight Attendant, from Nashville, Tennessee, married and resided in Oak Hill, VA outside of Washington. Later that same year Chic retired from the Navy after twenty-five years of distinguished service.
On September 11, 2001, in a horrific twist of fate, his two career paths crossed when the Boeing 757 Chic was piloting was hijacked and steered onto a collision course with America's greatest symbol of military prowess, the Pentagon, where he last worked prior to retiring from the Navy. Chic had tremendous honesty and fairness. His diligence and tenacity were well known. In essence, he was the kind of man that anyone would have been proud to call a fellow American. We can take comfort in the knowledge that his life was rich and fulfilling. He was able to realize his American dream and most thankful.
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