(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
"It was most probably a fair day for flying. Why do I say that? Because the mission was to strafe in support of the ground troops and that requires low-level visual conditions. Why? Because you must be able to see your guys and their guys from your cockpit. This is not the "fly over and drop a bomb from 25,000 feet altitude" mission - no, this calls for traffic pattern altitude, and below. This calls for "seeing the enemy" - seeing who has ambushed the American, again.
And, that is what this next story is going to be about.
What was he thinking about - as he was scooting down that make-shift aluminum-slated runway, in the middle of a sand bunker, airfield called "Chu Lai?"
It was a 8,000 foot runway - he touched down approximately 1,000 feet down the runway and slid, slid, and kept sliding - out of his control - an aircraft turned into a uncontrollable piece of turbine engine shrouded with some panels of aluminum ... and yet, still sliding, possibly spinning on its belly (gear-up) - "just along for the ride in this 'Belly of the Ship' http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/belly_of_ship.htm" - a ship of despair, hopelessness, pain, hurt, and ultimate death.
And, according to the Morning Report Casualty Accounting Report my father slid along with that turbine engine for approximately 1,800 feet before it exited on a course that was not his choosing.
So, what was he thinking about?"
And, now, I'm tired, emotionally and physically because it's still hard for me to do this, even after all these years of practice:
.".. the pain, is sort of like "rubbing your stomach, while patting your head" - it's just very difficult to do - and, then pile on the "crying" inside at the same time - and, your plate is unquestionably - full...
- "What was he thinking about?," Larry Blakeley, October 26, 2004.
File Name: what_was_he_thinking (4,411 words; 25 minutes @180 words/minute)
Post Date: October 28, 2004 at 10:55 AM; 1555 GM