Emile Chourre was born in San Francisco, California, on August 28, 1894, son of Pierre and Marianne (Mausegne) Chourre. He attended Gilroy, California, High School, Santa Barbara State College and the University of California before enrolling in the Naval Reserve Force on December 14, 1917. Reporting for active duty on January 10, 1918, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Naval Aviation Ground School in March, and was commissioned Ensign in the Naval Reserve Flying Corps (Naval Aviator No. 1591) on November 6, 1918. He was promoted to Lieutenant (jg) on February 1, 1920, and Lieutenant on July 1, 1921, and after his transfer to the regular Navy on November 14, 1921, attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander, on March 1, 1934. He died in a plane crash at Scott Field, Illinois, on January 26, 1938.
Following his aviation training and designation as Naval Aviator in November 1918, he had brief duty at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and on January 29, 1919, was transferred to the Naval Air Station, Coco Solo, Canal Zone, for duty as seaplane pilot. He served there until September 1920, and during that period received a Letter of Commendation for life saving. After serving briefly at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, California, he joined the Naval Aviation Detachment, March Field, Riverside, California, and received a Letter of Commendation for airplane design work accomplished there.
He served in USS Aroostook from May 1, 1921, until June 21, 1923, and for two years thereafter had successive duty aboard USS Canopus; at the Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor; and the in the Receiving Ship, San Francisco. After temporary duty with the Scouting Fleet, he reported for engineering instruction at the Naval Postgraduate School, Annapolis, continuing the course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, from which he was graduated with the degree of Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1927.
On November 7, 1927, after temporary duty under instruction at various places including McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, and the Navy Yard Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he reported to Fighting Squadron 6B, of Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet. He continued duty with that squadron, re-designated Bombing Squadron 2B, until June 14, 1929. Several days later he joined USS Langley for a year’s service after which he had a tour of duty, ending June 21, 1933, at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, California.
While he was Senior Aviator of Observation Squadron 1B, aviation unit of USS Arkansas, that vessel won the Battleship Aviation Unit Gunnery Award for 1933-1934. That tour preceded duty from June 1, 1934, to June 9, 1936, on the staff of Commander Aircraft, Battle Force. He next served briefly as Assistant Inspector of Naval Aircraft at San Diego, California, assuming the duties of Inspector on July 10, 1936, and continuing as such until his death on January 26, 1938.
Lieutenant Commander Chourre had the World War I Victory Medal for service in the United States Naval Reserve Force in 1918.