Commemorating Burlingame’s WWI fallen heroes

Nov. 11, 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Sparked in 1914 by a complex system of European alliances, militarism and the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, World War I was one of the deadliest human conflicts ever, with a death toll of about 37 million soldiers and civilians worldwide. The war involved the Allied Nations of the United Kingdom, France, Russia and later the United States fighting the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. After four years of conflict, the war ended with an armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.

According to the United States military records, three residents of Burlingame fought as a part of the American Expeditionary Force and died in the war.

Raymond A. Lee was born in 1896 in San Jose, Calif., but lived in Burlingame. After working as a caddy boy at the Burlingame Country Club, he was drafted into military service and died in the war.

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Lieutenant Colonel Hiram J. Slifer was a general manager of the Chicago Great Western Railroad Company and had worked on the construction of the Panama Canal. He served with the 21st Engineer Regiment and died of disease in February 1919. Although he spent most of his life in Chicago and Philadelphia, U.S. Army death records state he had residence in Burlingame. For his service in constructing supply railroads in France, he was one of 29 Americans awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in World War I.

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2nd Lieutenant Cecil S. Huntington attended the University of California, Berkeley and studied aviation while also being a star European handball player. After graduating in 1915, he managed Standard Oil’s southern California office. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1917, and died in France from wounds from an aircraft accident on July 25, 1918.

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Posted on November 20, 2018 .