(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)

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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;

poetry http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/poetry.htm;

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.


First to Fight

First Marines wade ashore at Da Nang on March 8, 1965.

"Eighteen," Alice Cooper - MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/eighteen.htm

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one

- "Fortunate Son," MP3 audio file/lyrics, John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/fortunate_son.htm

"U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup - 1965" http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/marines_wade_ashore.htm

Well, my dear fellow Americans - was it really worth the price?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

- "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," words and music by Pete Seeger
http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/seeger-bio-2.html http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/where_flowers_gone.htm

Do you really believe our youth want to die for a cause that very well may be determined afterwards to be a lost cause? Under what conditions is our great society really threatened enough for the ultimate sacrifice of our youth - the protectors of our freedom? Are the illusive answers to any of these questions put forth for your consideration really any different today? Can you make your determination based on the facts and circumstances surrounding each battle cry? Can you step out of your comfort zone of pre-determined prejudice in thought in order to make sure for yourself, in your own mind, that you are, in fact, analyzing your position in an objective fashion - free of prejudice, free of your "old self" and the way you viewed the world and your fellow man?

Do you have the courage to look within yourself - your heart, your soul, and your mind no matter what dark secrets you may find? Even to the end of seeing that you may, in fact, be (heaven forbid) a Christian Supremacist - "Are You a Christian Supremacist?": Lessons from Attention to Native American Religions, a Lecture by Theodore Walker, Jr., Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1 May 1996. http://faculty.smu.edu/twalker/moral96.htm#supremacy

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

- "Blowin' In The Wind," Bob Dylan (MP3 audio file/lyrics) http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/blowin_in_wind.htm

What if it was your son, your husband, your friend, your loved one - would you still feel the same? Do you really understand the fear, loneliness, and sadness of our young dying this way?

"Spiritual," Josh Haden (Johnny Cash version -

MP3 audio file/lyrics) http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/spiritual.htm

And, can you bring yourselves to believe what a dirty little German Nazis said many years ago?

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials, http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.htm

And, has God really empowered America to be the decider of what's best for the rest of the world? Are we really God's chosen people and steward acting on His behalf - next in line after the descendants of Abraham? And, do you entrust to the President of the United States the power to exercise extreme caution before making HIS determination to kill peoples of other countries? And, is it really right to kill others in the name of justice for all?

And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

"But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more."

- "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven," John Prine http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/prine_flag_decal_heaven.htm

And, are you willing to Take the Power Back if it should come to that? http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/take_power_back.htm

"The children of American searching for manhood, respect, and honor as the other protectors of fellow Americans, but the look my father has just is not there, yet - America's children MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/johnny_cash/spiritual.htm, or do you believe Professor Kathryn Statle, as well as many just like her in our universites across America and certain political opportunists' stereotype of the Vietnam veteran?

Which is it for you?

Chu Lai Airfield

The following is a letter dated July 27, 2006 from an eyewitness on the ground, Michael E. Holmes (L/Cpl USMC), describing my father's heroism while attempting to make an emergency landing at Chu Lai.

27 Jul 2006
I was on the runway at Chu Lai the day Captain Blakeley crashed.

He reported to the Chu Lai Tower that he had a "dead stick" and no oil pressure.

There was an ammunition dump on his approach.

He could not get the aircraft centered on the runway which ultimately caused his death.

He used power to ensure that he did not land short and hit the ammunition dump.

It is believed that he cut power (several of us heard the power coming off the aircraft) in order to avoid crashing into the Chu Lai tower area. As a result of the lack of power the aircraft's nose probe hit a sand dune and exploded.

This very brave man could have bailed out but instead stayed with the aircraft ensuring no friendly casualties. He has had my respect all of these years and while talking with friends about Vietnam heroes, he is at the top of my list.

From a ground observer of the incident,
Michael E. Holmes
Chu Lai 1965
Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50230


"As a point of information, the Marine Corps had developed expeditionary airfields which, though similar in some respects, are not SATS. These bases had been developed as an interim system for use until SATS was operational. An expeditionary airfield was longer than SATS, normally by a factor of 2, though it used the same aluminum matting. It did not have a catapult and may or may not have had arresting gear. The aircraft, when the ambient conditions and/or fuel or ordnance load required, use JATO for launching. Such an expeditionary airfield was installed and operational in South Viet Nam (e.g. Chu-Lai from 1965 to 1970)..... The first major combat application for the SATS system was in Chu Lai, Vietnam. On April 25, 1965, President Johnson approved plans to land Marines at Chu Lai to construct a combat airfield. MABS-12 deployed by ship from Iwakuni, Japan and landed in May, 1965. The Marines worked with Navy Seabees to complete the runway. The Marine Corps began launching A-4 Skyhawks (with JATO) for combat missions in June, 1965. By October, 1965, the Chu Lai 7011s had logged 5,000 arrests."
- SATS-EAF Association http://sats-eaf.org/Association.htm

The SATS/EAF Association is made up of former, retired, and active duty Marines with Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) 7002 (Officers) and 7011 (Enlisted). SATS/EAF HISTORY http://sats-eaf.org/History.htm for further history

The Marines initially constructed a portable runway with interlocking slats of metal, it was a very short 4,000' runway, had carrier deck-type arresting gear, catapult and an aluminum surface of interlocking lightweight metal alloy planking to enable takeoffs and landings by the Marines from this short (albeit temporary) strip.

"The second enclave was established at Chu Lai, 60 miles south of Da Nang. Sea bees performed the near impossible, constructing a 4000-foot aluminum section runway in 23 days.

Doesn't seem too impressive? You haven't seen Chu Lai! Whereas Da Nang boasts firm, green flat lands and gently rolling hills (for the most part, at least Chu Lai is a settled sandstorm. Patrolling Marines were ankle deep in the golden sands, which tugged at boots and pulled at leg muscles until they cramped or were released for the next step. And there was cactus . . . " - "U.S. Marines In Vietnam," http://www.northfork.net/vietnam/usmc_in_vietnam.htm

“On March 8, 1965, in response to a decision of President Lyndon Johnson, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade(MEB) landed at Da Nang to protect the airfield from possible communist attack. By mid-March, the air component of the brigade consisted of two medium transport helicopter squadrons, one light anti-aircraft missile battalion, and a group headquarters, MAG-16. All the aviation units were attached to MAG-16under Colonel John H. King, Jr. On April 10, additional tactical aircraft arrived at Da Nang when Marine Fighter-Attack Squadron 531 landed after a nonstop, aerial refueling flight from Atsugi. Ground personnel and equipment were flown in by the KC-130s of the 1st MAW. Also during April, the need arose for electronic warfare aircraft to counter the growing use of surface-to-air missiles. Marine Composite Squadron (VMCJ) 1 at Iwakuni, Japan, has the best aircraft for this mission. The EF-10Bs were soon effectively supporting USAF, Navy and Marine strike groups on their missions, Fortunately, 1st MAW was able to MAG-16 with a detachment of KC-130s based in Japan.

In May, the 3rd MEB, under Brigadier General Marion E. Carl, landed at Chu Lai about 50 miles south of Da Nang. Thebrigade was composed of the 4th Marines and MAG-12, plus Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10.

One of its principal objectives was to select a site and construct a second major jet-capable airfield. The first step was the installation of a short airfield for tactical support (SATS), a Marine Aviation concept which provided a field complete with carrier deck-type arresting gear, catapult and an aluminum surface of interlocking lightweight metal alloy planking.

The concept also included a tactical airfield fuel dispensing system.

Much difficulty was encountered with the base of soft sand at Chu Lai in the installation of the SATS but, by the end of the month, 4,000 feet of usable surface was down and the first landing of an A-4 into the gear was made on June 1, by Colonel John D. Noble, C.O. of MAG-12. By mid-afternoon, with the use of jet-assisted takeoff bottles, the first combat mission was launched from Chu Lai, led by Lieutenant Colonel R. W.Baker, C.O. of VMA-225. ......

The shifting, while building and operating, continued through the year and well into 1966 before the new 10,000-foot runway and taxiway systems were completed. At Chu Lai, a similar plan of expansion was laid down in mid-1965 which was realized in the fall of 1966 with a 10,000-foot runway just west of the SATS strip." See article here. http://www.history.navy.mil/download/mca-m8.pdf

For a photograph of the tropical beach at Chu Lai where the VMA-225 United States Marines are about to land May 23, 1965. The picture was taken from the deck of United States Ship Washoe County LST 1165 adrift in a lovely South China Sea lagoon - go here. http://www.skyhawk.org/4e/vma225/lst1165.htm
Photograph by John Keane and from Martin Halpin.

For a view of the causeway from the Washoe County to the beach at Chu Lai. Before the Chu Lai airstrip was built, everything shipped to Chu Lai came over this causeway - go here. http://www.skyhawk.org/4e/vma225/lst1165a.htm
Photograph by John Keane and from Martin Halpin.

Other photographs of Chu Lai can be browsed here. http://www.skyhawk.org/4e/vma225/vma225p.htm