Carl Horenburger was born in New York City. He became a Naval Aviator in 1938. During the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II, as a lieutenant, he led a squadron of 8 SBD Dauntless dive bombers of VB-6 from the U.S.S. Enterprise. On August 7, 1942, the SBDs were attacked by famed Japanese ace Saburo Sakai who mistakenly thought they were F4F Wildcats (fighters). The SBDs' gunners severely wounded Sakai, permanently blinding him in one eye. Official Japanese records credited Sakai with 28 aerial victories although he claimed 64 in his autobiography. Horenburger was awarded the Navy Cross and retired from the Navy in November 1951 with the rank of captain.
After leaving the Navy, Carl joined Seaboard as Assistant to Vice-President - Operations (Carl Brell) and served in that capacity for several years.
Carl Horenburger was survived by his wife, Eileen; sons Fredrick and James; and daughters Anne Lahr and Julie Tarleton. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.