Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Avenue of Heroes: Carl C. Burgess

Written by Monroe Holland

Capt. Carl Cooley Burgess was born on Nov. 11, 1880, in Lyon, Kansas, and lived in Atchison, Kansas. He registered for military service in 1899.

Burgess was in the Soissons, Vaux and Chateau-Thierry campaigns of World War I when he was in the regular army. Burgess had two foreign decorations and was awarded the Croix de Guerre of France for distinguished acts of heroism in combat. He was also awarded the Belgian War medal.

He was ordered from Camp Lee to New Orleans for a short stay, then he headed to Washington, D.C. There, he was decorated by three governments for valor in World War I.

Burgess got his military inspiration as a member of Capt. Greene’s Company F, 22nd Kansas. During the Spanish-American War, he was at Camp Alger. After the war, he worked at the Atchison Saddlery Co., but he enlisted in the Army. He headed to China during the Boxer uprising. He and his fellow soldiers, however, were stopped at Nagasaki, Japan, and sent to Manila. He was in the Philippines for three years, where he received his lieutenant commission. Very little is known here of the particular acts of heroism that resulted in the decorations he received but it is known that the Germans were driven back from Paris during those campaigns in France. He carried two wounds and his war relics have been on display in the Ramsay windows.

On Sept. 18, 1918, Lt. Burgess returned home from France. He became an instructor at Camp Funston, an Army training camp in Kansas. He retired a career Army officer in 1925. He was cited by Marshal Philippe Petain of France, twice for bravery, and he received the Chevalier of the Crown from King Albert of Belgium. He also was cited by Gen. John Pershing for his bravery with the infantry at the battles of Vaux and Chateau-Thierry.

In addition to the above, Capt. Burgess received four Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, Belgium Order of the Crown, five WWI Victory Medals.

Capt. Burgess died in Coronado in 1958 and is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. He is survived by his grandchildren Donald Warfield and Carol Paseman.

The Hometown Heroes Banner program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 193 Hometown Heroes. On Nov. 6, 2016 another 13 were honored. The City funds all the costs for this program and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. The inspiration for the program came spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly in Coronado. The local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood for hours at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and heroes have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Hometown Heroes Banner Program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.


Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]