Clarence Vinson Burge



The West Virginia State Civilian Conservation Corps Museum Association proudly announces that Clarence V. Burge has been inducted into the West Virginia State Museum Hall of Fame with the Spring 2014 Class in ceremonies held at the Quiet Dell United Methodist Church Spring Jubilee on April 26, 2014.                                                       

Clarence Vinson Burge was born at Dartmoor, near Belington, West Virginia, on June 14, 1914.  On November 07, 1933, at the age of 19, he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corp at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He served 13 months as a Park Service laborer at SP-4, Co. 566 CCC, London, Kentucky. His work involved road grading, lake excavation, rock quarry labor, and fire prevention. He was discharged on December 22, 1934.
At the age of 21, on October 18, 1935, he enrolled in the CCC at Camp F-20, Onego, WV. Over the next couple of years, he was assigned to Camp F-2, Alpena, WV and Camp F-3, Parsons, WV as well. He served as a laborer and some of his duties included driving rock trucks, working on road construction, working as a lineman, and cutting timber. Clarence, during his leisure time at camp, entertained his buddies by playing his guitar. He was discharged from the CCC on March 31, 1938. Many times Hall of Famer Burge expressed pride in his time spent in the CCC.  

Clarence served with valor in the United States Army during World War II from 1942 to 1945 as Private First Class in Company B, 56th Signal Battalion. During his service to his Nation, he served at Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. He took with him the skills he attained in the CCC, and used them during the war as a “Heavy Truck Driver” and lineman. He was presented with the Good Conduct Medal with Clasp, Meritorious Unit Award, American Theater Service Ribbon, World War II Victory Ribbon and the European, African, Middle-Eastern Service Ribbon. Burge was honorably discharged from the US Army on November 26, 1945.

Mr. Burge married Clara Lucille Ash on March 25, 1946 and raised their two sons in Bethlehem, West Virginia, near Shinnston. He was employed by various coal mines in Harrison County. He continued his service for his country by enrolling in the US Army Reserves and served for many years. Clarence was well liked by his fellow soldiers and, because he was one of the oldest in the group, was referred to as “Pappy”.  Clarence worked as a Buggy Operator and retired from the Consolidated Coal Company, Mine #32 in Owings, West Virginia. Our Honoree passed away suddenly on February 16, 1983 of complications of a heart attack.

Clarence Vinson Burge in US Army uniform.
Clarence Vinson Burge in US Army uniform.