1Lt Christian Douglas Burger
394th Bomb Group, 584th & 587th Squadrons
1Lt Christian Burger Family
1Lt Christian Douglas Burger (CD) was killed in action on D-Day, June 6, 1944, over England. His aircraft was involved in a mid-air collision with another B-26 Marauder Bomber. This story is about what happened to his wife and children after this tragic death. At the time of his death CDs wife Alma Louise Burger was living in Burbank, Ca with CD and Almaís 14 month old Sheila Louise Burger. Alma was pregnant at the time and gave birth to a son Al Douglas Burger. Alma named their son Al Douglas Burger because CD wanted that name for a boy, Al for Alma and Douglas from Christian Douglas. Alma didnít like the name Al and called her son Doug (thatís me). Alma was a great mom and provided for her two children very well on a widows pension. Alma bought a small two bedroom, one bath home, about 700 sq feet in Sun Valley, Ca. Our life was as normal as could be under the circumstances, we didnít have a lot but we always had clean clothes and food on the table. My sister and I slept on old US Army cots and shared a room. We didnít have a TV, car, or telephone for many years, but we were happy. Mom didnít talk much about the war and our fatherís death. She was always busy taking care of us kids. We did spend time with maternal grandmother on weekends. Our mom sent us to Oklahoma every summer to visit our dadís parents. As we called them, G&G Burger lived on a farm and for us city kids it was fun being on the farm. Visiting G&G Burger also gave us time to know our Uncles, Aunts and cousins on our Dadís side of the family. When I was around 10 or 11 my mother re-married Ernie Anthour, she lost her widows pension and had to start working. Ernie was an Army veteran and didnít have experience raising children; this did cause some problems for my sister and me. We moved from Sun Valley to a house in Los Angeles, things did not go well, Ernie and Alma were divorced. Alma, Shelia, and Doug moved into an apartment in LA, we moved a couple of times during the next few years. Alma eventually bought a home in Studio City for the family.
Alma married a widower Glen Haessig in 1971. Alma and Glen sold their homes and built a home in Malibu, Ca where they still reside.
Sheila married Johnny Snyder and they had three children Teresa, Cindy, and Sherrie. Johnny was a truck driver and Sheila worked as a grocery store checker. Sheila and Johnny had some problems and were divorced. Sheila married Johnny Meeks; Meeks was a musician and had been in several Elvis movies, Johnny Meeks is in the Rock-and-Roll hall of fame. Sheila and Johnny Meeks had a daughter Deanna. Sheila and Johnny had some problems and they were divorced. Sheila married Johnny Surface. Johnny Surface, his two boys, Sheila and her four girls all moved to Jay, Oklahoma and bought a dairy farm. Things didnít work out on the farm and Sheila and Johnny Surface were divorced. Sheila had several jobs over the years but is now retired living in Jay.
I (Doug Burger) dropped out of High School in 1962 and joined the US Air Force. I did my basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and was trained as an In-flight Refueling Specialist at Sheppard AFB, TX. I reported to Dover AFB, Del as my first assignment. I was assigned duty as a KC-97G Boom Operator (In-flight Refueling Specialist). During this time I traveled to England and visited the memorial at Cambridge. I did find my Dads name on the wall, but my Grandfather had his body shipped back to the US and he is now buried at Pryor, Ok. During my tour at Dover, I met my wife Connie Pasqua and we were married 18 Apr. 1964 in New Rochelle, NY. Alma, Sheila and my Grandmother and Grandfather Burger attended the wedding. Connie and I were transferred to Westover AFB, Ma in 1965 and there we had our first child Daneen Maria. Daneen married Jim Dail and they have a daughter Mandy. The Dails live in Bonanza, Oregon. Daneen is the Human Resource Director for Klamath County Or. Daneen, Connie and I were then transferred to Fairchild AFB, WA. I completed training as a Boom Operator on the KC-135A. At this time I started supporting the war effort in Vietnam and spent many months away from home. Connie and I had another daughter Christine (born 3 Oct. 1969, 4 years to the day after Daneen). Christine was named after my dad Christian Douglas Burger. Christine married Doug Smethurst and they had three sons, Christopher, Matthew, and Jordon Smethurst. Christine and Doug were divorced and Christine married Gary Howell. Christine and Gary had a daughter Aubrey and they all live in Citrus Height, Ca. Christine is a housewife. Christine, Daneen, Connie and I were then transferred back to Westover AFB, Ma. Our son Anthony Douglas Burger was born on 9 Nov 1971. Anthony married Veronica Gomez and they have two children, Ashley and Anthony. Anthony, Ashley, Veronica and Anthony live in Wildomar, Ca. and Anthony is a sixth grade school teacher in the Corona, Ca school district. Anthony, Christine, Daneen, Connie, and I were transferred to Castle AFB Ca. and I was assigned duties as an Instructor Boom Operator for new trainees. At this time I was no longer required to support operations in Vietnam. I had completed 150 missions and was awarded four Air Medals, and one Distinguished Flying Cross. As the sole surviving son of C D Burger I was exempt from flying combat missions over Vietnam. I voluntarily flew my missions with the other men in my squadron. The family was then transferred to Phoenix, AZ. I was assigned as an advisor to the Arizona Air National Guard at Sky Harbor Airport. After a two year tour of duty, the family was assigned to March AFB, Ca. My duty at March AFB, Ca was the Alert Force Manager; I was responsible for five KC-135A tankers, and four B-52D bombers on Strategic Air Command Alert. April 1, 1982 I retired from the USAF and began working for TRW. I completed my BS in Computer Science and have been a Software Engineer for 25+ years. Currently Iím working on an Army project Future Combat Systems for Northrop/Grumman (Northrop/Grumman acquired TRW). Connie retired from Civil Service in 2003 and is now a retiree. I plan on working another two years, and then spend more time as a volunteer at the March Field Museum; where Iíve been assigned as the Crew Chief on a KC-97.