Assigned to the 17th Aero, Howard Burdick's squadron was attached to he Royal Air Force. Flying the Sopwith Camel with a silver spinner and marked with the letter "L", he was a member of George Vaughn's flight. In all, he claimed eight enemy aircraft during September and October of 1918. During World War II, his son Clinton became an ace flying the P51 Mustang.
"He...landed all right, but he made me so mad when he interrupted me in trying to see what would happen to Howard [Knotts], that when he got out of his machine, I chased him around the field and finally killed him. Then I spent the next ten minutes trying to set his machine on fire with no results except using up all my ammunition..." Howard Burdick, in a letter to his brother, regarding claim #7
The Rockford Register-Gazette, Rockford, Illinois, Saturday, 9 November 1918, page 2
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Howard Burdick, Second Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action northwest of Cambrai, France, September 28, 1918. Attacked by two Fokker biplanes, Lieutenant Burdick outmaneuvered both machines, shot one into flames and routed the other one. Later, seeing three Fokkers attacking an American aviator, he at once dove into the combat to his assistance, shooting down one and driving off the other two. His quick and unhesitating attack, single-handed, on the three Fokkers save the life of his fellow pilot.
General Orders No. 38, W.D., 1921
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
For skill and gallantry. On 25 October, while on an offensive patrol, this officer attacked a formation of five Fokker biplanes over the forest of Mormal and succeeded in shooting down one in flames. On another occasion he dived on an enemy two-seater but was in turn attacked by two Fokkers, one of which he succeeded in shooting down in flames. Later he attacked three enemy aircraft who were attacking one of our machines and shot down one which dived straight into the ground and crashed. This officer has now destroyed five EA (three in flames) and has at all times displayed the greatest gallantry, skill and disregard of danger.