(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.
A week, or so, ago I found my father's pocket spiral notebook he carried with him to Vietnam. It was buried in with some items in a cedar chest given to my Mother by her sister, Valarie, as a wedding gift. I was looking for other items of childhood and there it was - just sitting there - waiting to be opened and read.
At first I did not understand what the numbers meant, but as I studied over it - it became apparent that it is a handwritten log by my father of his departures, arrivals, and the corresponding times - all additional evidence of the truth of his fateful flight from George Air Force Base, California to the Da Nang Air Base, Republic of South Vietman in the late days of June, 1965 and early days of July, 1965 - and, on the last page was a listing of those items that meant something to him at the time.
His first entry is as follows: "Dep George 25/1100L" - which means he lifted off the runway at George on the 25th of June, 1965 at 11:00 AM, local time.
His second entry is as follows: "Arv Hickman 25/1330" - which means he landed at Hickman Airbase, Hawaii on the same day at 1:30 PM, local time.
And, his last entry is as follows: " Arrived Da Nang 3/1310" - which means he landed onto the runway at Da Nang Air Base on July 3, 1965 at 1:10 PM, local time.
And, his last page lists those same items he goes on to mention later in his letters, as follows:
1. Sewing machine
2. Hi-fi equipment
4. Flash attachment
6. Gifts for girls & Larry
7. Movie film
8. Black and white film
Here is an image of the entries in the front section of this notepad http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_roy_blakeley_notebook_front1965.djvu
Posted: October 27, 2004 at 6:30 AM CDT; 1130 GMT
Several days after scanning the front part of my father's notepad I pulled it back out of the "scanned documents" drawer. I remember taking a "speed reading" course years ago (after taking it I sent my son, Evan and daughter, Lori to the same course - they weren't thrilled, but went along with it anyway) where we were instructed to always look at the back of the book to review information about the author.
So, I pulled my father's notepad from the drawer - here are the images of the entries he made in the back of the notepad! http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_roy_blakeley_notebook_inside_back1965.djvu
One page of notes was particularly perplexing - he had entered the following names and dates:
Blakeley - 18 Apr 58
Gale - 30 Nov 59
Harris - 15 Feb 61
Shassetz - 2 Feb 64
Olson - 14 Jan 65
Alston - 19 Oct 61
Tribble - 18 Sept 64
My father's Military Personnel Records file shows the date he logged with his name to be the date that my father was temporarily promoted to the rank of Captain - to be followed up with a permanent rank date of September 24, 1959.
As to the other date's and the reasons he wrote them down is still a mystery.
Post Date: November 5, 2004 at 5:35 CST; 2335 GMT
Pursuant to Special Order TA-1100 dated June 22, 1965 http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_speciall_order19650622.djvu
Each of these aircrews were "authorized to bear arms during the period of this TDY."
The following aircrews and spare aircrews were issued TDY (temporary duty) instructions to proceed to Hickam Hawaii, PACAF ("PACAF's primary mission is to provide ready air and space power to promote U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region during peacetime, through crisis, and in war." Quotation from home Web site at http://www2.hickam.af.mil/pacaf/):
Advance Party - Aircrews & Spare Aircrews
Major Eusebio Arriaga (AFSN 38463A, 436 TFS)
Captain Richard A. Bianckino http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/richard_bianckino/index.htm (AFSN 27174A, 436 TFS)
Captain Roy J. Blakeley (AFSN 45482A, 436 TFS)
Captain Howard E. Sargent (AFSN A03008113, 436 TFS)
Captain J. L. Symonds (AFSN A01910549, 436 TFS)
Captain Morris B. Parker III (AFSN 57571A, 436 TFS)
Captain James J. Torson (AFSN 65319A, 436 TFS)
They were all members of the 6252nd Tactical Fighter Wing and the 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron based out of George Air Force Base , California (located near Victorville and Apple Valley) http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/george_entrance.djvu
Here is a listing of (and hyper linking to) the correspondence written by my father after departing George Air Force Base, California; landing at Honolulu, Hawaii; Formosa, Taiwan; and Clark Air Force Base, Phillipines before departure for Da Nang Air Base, Republic of South Vietnam.
June of the year 2004 is the first time I have read them, except the one written to me.
June 27, 1965 (Postcard) - James Louis and Violet Blakeley
June 30, 1965 - Johnnye Blakeley
July 2, 1965 (Postcard) - James Louis and Violet Blakeley
June 27, 1965 (postcard from Honolulu, Hawaii - front) http://www.royblakeley.name/postcard_rblakeley19650627-front.djvu
June 27, 1965 (postcard from Honolulu, Hawaii - back) http://www.royblakeley.name/postcard_rblakeley19650627-back.djvu
June 30, 1965
Dearest You All,
Well here I am in Formosa. I will leave tomorrow for Da Nang Air Base.
The trip over was uneventful. As I said in my card, I spent one extra night & day at Honolulu because of a dead battery. Flew from there to Guam (8 hours), and stayed one night and flew on to here. Major Arriaga and I flew the entire way.
Formosa (Tiawan) is so crowded. It's almost as backwards as Mexico. Everything smells. We live downtown, about 10 miles from the airbase. Of course we will be here only every 30 days. We will stay 30 days at Da Nang and 10 days here. Zeb and I took a helicopter and went to Taipei (capital of Taiwan) today & received a briefing on the arrangements and agreements for the operations here at Kung Kuan Air Base. The Nationalist Chinese also have F-104's here.
We leave with 6 aircraft tomorrow for Vietnam (Da Nang). Guess you heard we lost one yesterday. The pilot (Captain Cole) was rescued OK!!
Sure enjoyed my swim in Honolulu!! The base is real nice. Beautiful vegetation everywhere.
How do you like my pen!! It's a Chinese writing pen. Will bring the kids one home.
All the guys here really are glad to be going home. It's evidently no picnic at Da Nang.
I now wish I had brought another drip dry shirt. May have later on to go back to that National shirt shop & send me a couple more shirts. I will let you know.
My hotel here is pretty nice, but small. The noise goes on until after 1-2 AM.
Went to the Px. They were cleaned out of radios!! Maybe Da Nang will have some.
Well honey that's about it. Write often. Miss you & will write again when I have the latest on Da Nang.
June 30, 1965 directory_letter_rblakeley19650630.djvu
July 2, 1965 (postcard from Clark Air Force Base, Philippines - front) http://www.royblakeley.name/postcard_rblakeley19650702-front.djvu
July 2, 1965 (postcard from Clark Air Force Base, Philippines - back) http://www.royblakeley.name/postcard_rblakeley19650702-back.djvu