(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 and the following Web sites:
Larry Blakeley (Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Leslie (Blakeley) Adkins - my granddaughter
Lori Ann Blakeley (June 20, 1985 - May 4, 2005) - my granddaughter
Evan Blakeley- my grandson
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.
Journal entry for combat mission on 22 July (Thursday) 1965
Harold R. Alston, 1 Lt, USAF
436 TFS (F-104C), DaNang AB, South Viet Nam
Tenth mission today. I was originally scheduled as spare, but at the last minute Major Eusebio Arriaga (Operations Officer) took himself off and I replaced him. The target was a VC build-up west of Chu Lai. Our bombs and strafing were good and right on the target. I don’t know how to write the rest. Roy was killed today.
The original line-up was John Olson, Larry Shassetz, Seb Arriaga and Jack Gale with me as spare. We actually took off with Olson, Shassetz, Alston and Gale with Roy as spare. After take-off Shassetz had a hung gear and had to abort back to DaNang. Roy took off and met us over Chu Lai.He was flying the airplane I would have been in if Major Arriaga had not changed his mind about flying today.
After 2 bomb passes and 1 strafe pass, Roy reported he had lost the left, leading edge flap. I went into afterburner and caught up to him real fast. The flap was gone and some skin was torn off the upper fuselage over the engine. The tail was ok. When I confirmed the damage to him, Roy said he had lost oil pressure. We turned to Chu Lai, 20 miles away. It is an austere, Marine airfield right on the beach with the runway made of steel planking. I went to Guard channel and declared an emergency and that we were inbound to Chu Lai for an emergency landing.
Roy had a good pattern for the runway and I stayed close to him all the way down. As he got on final I told him to get his landing gear down. There was no response. I continued to yell over the radio to him, “Get the gear down, Roy”. I don’t know how many times I said it, but there never was any response.
Roy landed on the runway heading to the north, gear up, on the pylons (bomb racks). The airplane swerved a little to the left and went off the runway and plowed into a sand dune. The airplane exploded. It made me feel sick all over. It didn’t seem real even though I had seen airplane crashes before. I guess it never does. Jack and I joined on John and we returned to DaNang as fast as possible.
I am going to miss Roy. He always treated me well and I felt he was the best Flight Commander in the 436th. He was not only an excellent pilot, but also a friend.