Earl Seward Hulburd
(Nicknames:  Bud and Herky)

Born:  August 13, 1928 - St. Louis, Missouri
Died:  March 24, 1950 - Near St. Louis, Missouri
Age At Death:  21
Cause of Death:  Airplane Crash
Buried: 
Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, Missouri
               (N 39 25.176, W 092 25.189    17 feet - WGS84 Datum)

Father:  Clarence Earl Hulburd (1888-1952)
Mother:  Hazel Elizabeth Caroline Coudy-Hulburd (1893-1944)
Sister:  Harriet Nan Hulburd-Erstein-Nalley (1916-1985)
Sister:  Elizabeth Seward Hulburd-Hine-Alderson (1917-1996)
Wife:  Never Married
Children: 
None

Photo believed to have been taken in late
 1949 or early 1950 shortly after his
 honorable discharge from the Marine Corp.

Birth Certificate


A Short Biography
 By Edward K. Hine, Jr. ("Ted") - June 2003

Introduction

Earl Seward Hulburd was my uncle (my mother's brother).  Unfortunately, I have no specific recollection of him as he was killed in a small airplane crash when I was only 5 years old.  Prior to his death our paths had only crossed shortly a few times.

 

Photo of Bud taken in the
 late 1930's in St. Louis
 

As I was growing up Mother always referred to her brother as my "Uncle Herky" but, because he wasn't around to play a part in our family life, I never really got to knew any details about him except in broad brush strokes.  I have always been vaguely aware that he had grown up in St. Louis, had attended the same summer camp in New Hampshire as I had, he'd served in the Marine Corp, and he had been killed in a small plane crash along with his flight instructor.   But I knew few details and only recall ever seeing two pictures of him which were always displayed at home by mother.

Six years after my mother's death when I finally got around to sorting her boxes of photos and personal effects I ran into a manila envelope containing artifacts relating to my Uncle Herky including photos, school and camp yearbooks, Marine Corp records, and pilot training records, none of  which I  knew existed.  Most of the details presented in this biography were obtained from this recently discovered material.


About Earl Seward Hulburd

Bud Hulburd was born on August 13, 1928 at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.   Like his older sisters he started life in the well-to-do world of St. Louis society where his parents were socially prominent.   He was raised at the family home at 78 Vandeventer Place in an exclusive area of St. Louis.  He was 12 years younger then his sister Harriet and 11 years younger than sister Betty so, while mother never talked about it, one could suspect that his sisters probably did not play or socialize much together with Bud as he grew up due to the age difference.  Little is know about his early years.  While he was know to me as Uncle Herky, his more common nick name was apparently Bud.

Childhood Photos

 


As cox of the  "Blue" racing crew
1939 at Camp Mowglis
 

Summer Camp

Records show that he spent summers at Camp Mowglis on the shores of Newfound Lake in New Hampshire in 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1942. By coincidence, both of my godfathers (William "Bill" R. McKelvy and Robert "Bob" G. Nims), who were college friends of my father, also attended Mowglis in the 1930's which likely explains why I (along with my two brothers) also spent summers there in the mid 1950's.   Bud's copies of the camp year books indicate that he took part in all the summer camp activities that you'd expect a 10 to 14 year old would including swimming, rife shooting, archery, etc.  A letter written in the summer of 1936 to my mother from her mother indicates that Bud was at camp in New Hampshire that summer (he would have been 8 years old at the time).  This must have been another camp since Bud's Mowglis information indicates that he started there in 1938.

Camp Mowglis Scans

 

 

At far left as short-stop on the Morristown School's
 baseball team.  Believed to be spring of 1946.

Education

Bud apparently experienced a rocky road on his way to a high school diploma.

He attended St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, an exclusive private school for boys which sent the majority of it's 12 grade graduates on to Ivy League colleges.  I suspect he started there in kindergarten but I have no direct evidence of this.

In early 1939 Bud's father, C. Earl Hulburd, plead guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, an event which was likely devastating to Bud and the rest of his family and which shattered the comfortable life which the family had enjoyed.  The family including his mother, sisters, and Bud moved to New York City later that year where both sisters had connections due to having attended college there.  Bud's parents were divorced in 1940 and his mother, Hazel, passed away in early 1944 after a year's illness.  These events had to have had a large impact on Bud's motivation when he was at a very impressionable age and he apparently attended 6 different schools from 1938 through 1946.

After the move to New York City Bud lived in an apartment with his mother and two sisters and attended the Riverdale School in the City (I believe a private school) for two years and then apparently another unknown school there, probably a public school due his family's lack of ability to pay for a private education.  In 1942 shortly after his sister Betty married, Bud moved to nearby northern New Jersey where he lived with Betty and her new husband Kirt Hine in North Caldwell.  According to his Caldwell, NJ obituary he attended Caldwell High School in Caldwell, NJ (the local public school) as a freshman during the 1942/43 school year.  The following year (1943/44) he attended the Morristown School, a private school not far from where he continued to live with Betty and Kirt Hine.

For the 1944/45 school year Bud returned to St. Louis where his father had recently received an early release from prison.   In a letter to daughter Betty dated July 7, 1944 Dutch Hulburd described his son's return to St. Louis.   View Letter

Bud didn't like school in St. Louis much and returned east to the Morristown School in New Jersey the following year (1945/46) where surviving photographs suggest he played both football and baseball.   A bible found among his surviving artifacts has an undated inscription inside the front cover which reads "Earl S. Hulburd, 41 Howell Rd. Mountain Lakes, New Jersey" suggesting that at some time he lived at this location.   Mountain Lakes is located not far from both North Caldwell and Morristown.  I suspect (but have no proof) that Bud may have lived there, perhaps in a rooming house, during his 1945/46 year at the Morristown School as I had been born in the spring of 1945 and thus it may not have been as convenient for him to again live with my parents as he had previously.

He then left the Morristown School after the 1945/46 school year but did not graduate, apparently being two classes in American History short of the credits needed for his diploma.  He obtained these credits while in the Marine Crops and was issued a Certificate of High School Equivalence by the State of Missouri in early 1950 after being discharged from the Marines.    A postcard sent to Betty Hulburd-Hine in January of 1950 from Bud's father Dutch indicates that Bud had just scored in the top 5 percent of those taking the High School Equivalent exam.

According to his sister Betty in a taped oral history interview in 1986, Bud had plans to enter Washington University in St. Louis at the time of his death in 1950.  This is confirmed in a letter written by his father who mentions that Bud had taken the Washington University entrance exams shortly before his death.

   

 

Marine Corps

         Marine Corporal "Herky" Hulburd
          (February, 1947)
 

Bud enlisted in the US Marine Corp on October 16, 1946 in New Your City for a three year tour of duty.  All I really know about his Marine service is that he attained the rank of Corporal and, according to his discharge papers, qualified as an Expert Rifleman.  Mother used to say that he was a crack shot and spent much of his time in the service attending shooting matches where the best rifleman in the Marines and other services competed.  According to mother he evidently did well at this, earned lots of shooting metals and awards, and was perpetually frustrated by the fact that most of the other members of his shooting team were career Marines who had attained officer rank.  Bud apparently could not celebrate with his teammates after matches because he was not allowed in Officers Clubs.

There is no record of where he spent most of his time in the service and it is assumed that he spent time visiting his father in St. Louis and his sisters in the New York City area while on leave.  He was honorably discharged on October 15, 1949 in Norfolk, Virginia.  He returned to St. Louis to live with his father and joined the Marine Corps Reserves there which suggests that he would have likely been recalled to active duty for service in the Korean War which started shortly after his death the following March.

Marine Photos and Scans

 

Pilot Training

Surviving records indicate that Bud started private pilot training in January of 1950 and that the government was reimbursing him for the cost through what I believe was known as the GI Bill.

I suspect that he was influenced in his decision to become a pilot by my father, who, during the years Bud was living with him and my mother in New Jersey, was a design engineer and ran the flight test program for Curtiss-Wright Corp's Propeller Division, a major defense contractor during World War II.   I don't recall ever hearing why Bud decided to learn to fly but the fact that he came close to completing his license requirements in a mater of only several months suggests that he was learning to fly full time and therefore could have intended to make a profession of it.  After World War II there was a general consensus among the population in the U.S. that aviation as an industry and as a career held great promise.

By mid March Bud was completing his solo flight requirements for his license and was close to having logged the required total flight hours needed.   On March 24, 1950 at age 21 he was killed along with his flight instructor when their plane crashed in St. Charles, MO near St. Louis.  The records suggest that he was taking his final flight exam at the time of the accident.  I have no record of the official government determination of the cause of the crash but letters written by Bud's father suggest several possible causes, from an over zealous flight instructor to mechanical problems with the small plane (believed to have been a Cessna 140).

Crash Newspaper Clippings Obituary (New Jersey)
   

Flying Documents Including Log Entries (PDF)

Father's Letters Regarding Accident (PDF)

 

C. Earl Hulburds Letters Regarding Bud (PDF)

 


Final Resting Place

A funeral service for Earl Seward Hulburd was held on March 27, 1950 at the Shepard Funeral Home in St. Louis.    His sister Betty attended and I assume his father Dutch must have also.  It is not known whether his other two living close relatives, sister Harriet (a New York resident) and great-uncle Ernest A. Hulburd (living in Phoenix, AZ), attended.   An entry at the back of the funeral service book saved by Betty Hulburd-Hine (and in her handwriting) reads: "Mustangs over head in formation" suggesting that military P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft performed a fly over salute to Bud during his funeral service.

His death certificate shows that Bud was cremated.  A letter sent to sister Betty by father Dutch on April 3, 1950 reads in part:  "There is nothing new by way of information except that Ed Hozak called this a.m. to say he had scattered Bud's ashes as requested."   A marble marker to honor Bud was placed in the  Hulburd-Knowles family plot in the Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, Missouri where several generations of his ancestors were buried and where his father and sister Betty would in later years be laid to rest.

Funeral Service Book (PDF)

Funeral Home Invoice

   

The Hulburd-Knowles Family Plot in the Oakland
Cemetery, Moberly, Missouri in 2001.
 (The 5 grave markers in the foreground.)
(N 39 25.176, W 092 25.189    17 feet - WGS84 Datum)

Close up of Bud's grave stone which appears
 at the far left of the photo on the left.

About the Family Plots in the Oakland Cemetery


Copyright 2003, Edward K. Hine, Jr.