George was the second most highly decorated pilot of the AVG Campaign. Bob Neale was the most highly decorated AVG pilot.
George received decorations from three countries over a period of 54 years for his adventures with the 'Flying Tigers': (1) China, (2) Great Britain, and (3) America.
On January 22, 1943, then-Brigadier General Claire L. Chennault forwarded to my Dad the top two decorations shown at left, from the Chinese Government, for his service to China through the AVG. The top one is the 10-Star Wing Medal, No. 1. It replaced the decoration George had already been awarded, the 8-Star Wing Medal, No. 1. The second medal is the Fourth Grade Cloud Banner Decoration, No. 464, which replaced the one previously awarded, the Fifth Grade Cloud Banner Decoration, No. 299. (see: C. L. Chennault letter at C.L.C Letter
) The third is the US Distinguished Flying Cross, and the final medal is "Medal in Commemoration of Victory of the War of Resistance Against Aggression", (No. 0056) issued by the Chinese Government.
In the Fall of 1942 the British government awarded their Distinguished Flying Cross to George and seven other AVG pilots. A photograph of that medal is not shown.
On December 8, 1996 the United States government awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumous) to George T. Burgard, and every other pilot of the American Volunteer Group to China, in a ceremony in Dallas, TX. The presentations were made by the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General Fogelman.
Many thanks to Mark Chow for identifying the ribbons worn by my Dad in a 1942 or 1943 Portrait.
The following is Dad's diary entry regarding the medals ceremony:
June 6, 1942 Kunming
Saturday -- as usual nothing goes off according to schedule. The weather was so bad at Chungking and it has been called off until tomorrow. I was on the alert all day and did a little flying this afternoon. The bad weather an opportunity to hold a special ceremony for the presentation of medals. Eight of us were honored. I received the Chinese Banner of the Clouds, Fifth Class or two stars, which is their highest Air Corps decoration. I also got star wings and a medallion set with 8 stars representing my victories in the Rangoon Campaign. They are very nice and I feel greatly pleased and honored. Am anxious to show them to the folks.
P40-C F.A.V.G. Kunming-Kunming Alert scare - Japs turned back 1:20