(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.
My father was sent to Nellis Air Force Base in January, 1959 for 3 months before being sent from Nellis to Stead Air Force Base for a 17-day Advanced Survival Training Course. This was the second time he had completed Stead's Advanced Survival Training Course - the first being in 1955.
While my father was at Nellis Air Force Base we stayed in an apartment. Here is a photo post card http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/directory_card_mother_vegas19590105.djvu at the Nevada Club of Las Vegas post marked January 5, 1959 to her parents with the following written on the back:
"Dear Mother & Daddy,
I lost 50 cents here on the roulette wheel ha - big time gambler. My hair is so flat on top. I look like one of the local vagrants or something. We are fine. We bought some new clothes yesterday - Violet quit her job & left last night - couldn't stay away from Abilene - Love, Johnnye"
Here is the official Web site of the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England (http://www.lakenheath.af.mil/home.htm).
Here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/directory_dad_chaumont_france19591110.djvu is a photograph of my father - taken by him using a tripod. The following is what he wrote on the back:
"Chaumont France November 10, 1959
Taken by me in my room. The small picture is Larry when he was 4 mos old. I am sitting on my stereo Tape Recorder." http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/directory_dad_chaumont_france19591110.djvu
A photograph of my father standing in front of his F-100 Super Sabre at Wheelus Air Base in January, 1960 here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/f100_wheelus196001.djvu
My father took this photograph of me, my mother, and sisters on the flight line at Lakeheath as we stood behind his F-100 after 6 weeks at Wheelus here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/f100_lakenheath_family196007.djvu
A couple of photographs of my father and 3 other flight members in front of an F-100 Super Sabre manufacturered by North American here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_lakenheath_flight_group.djvu . The only pilot name I have available to me at present is Sam Baake - on the far right. He and his wife, Dee live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The F-100C was the USAF's first operational aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (760 mph) in level flight. For more information on the F-100 Super Saber please go here to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio's Web site at http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/air_power/ap52.htm
My father combs my hair in the trailer while my sister, Karen looks on. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_dad_lakenheath_trailer.djvu
A rare moment caught on film - the photographer and his children - me, Dad, and my sisters, Karen and Sharon. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/dad_larry_karen_sharon_lakenheath.djvu This photograph was taken by my mother.
My sisters, Karen and Sharon riding their tricycles in front of our trailer here http://www.royblakeley.name/karen_sharon_tricycle_lakenheath.djvu . And, a photograph of me taken in February, 1961 with my bike and black jacket here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/larry_bike196102.djvu
They had a problem with housing due to the increase in personnel being assigned to this airbase and most everyone was put on a waiting list for the main housing accomodations. We stayed in a small trailer house until a curtain caught fire and burned it down one day.
My father wrote down his expenses and itinerary on this copy.
According to his notes he left Rotan on March 11, 1960 at 1600 GMT and arrived at Mildenhall 4 days later, on March 15th at 1345 GMT. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/special_order_A167_19600224.djvu
Special Order No. 50 dated December 1, 1960, 492nd Tactical Fighter, Squadron, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing establishing Flight Commanders "A" - "B" and their respective pilots in each flight. Among them is
DjVu Original http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/special_order_50_19601201.djvu
My father was the Flight Commander "A" and had the following pilots with his flight:
Captain John F. Lisella (AFSN 53579A) - Assistant Captain John F. Lisella (AFSN 53579A) - Assistant "A""A" Flight Commander
1st Lieutenant Sidney J. Wright (AFSN A03027328) - Pilot
1st Lieutenant Glenn H. Wilson (AFSN 54287A) - Pilot Glen Hubert Wilson deceased (wife, Adlyn currently lives in San Antonio, Texas) http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/glen_wilson/major_glen_wilson.htm
1st Lieutenant Don E. Ackerman (AFSN 28984A) - Pilot
1st Lieutenant Charles A. Horner (A03085894) - Pilot http://www.legendsofairpower.com/biographies/horner.html ("Every Man a Tiger," Tom Clancy with General Chuck Horner, Ret., G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1999. My father flew with Chuck Horner at Lakenheath, England. They were both in the 492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing. My father is on the far left on the the 2nd photo page after page 373 of the book.) More information on General Chuck Horner http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5859
By Aeronautical Order No. 7 dated May 11, 1961 http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/aeronautical_order_7_19610511.djvu my father was granted the rating of Senior Pilot, by Headquarters, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing.
A photograph of him here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/dad_france.djvu with a French beret on standing next to his F100 Super Sabre. Their wasn't enough housing for the families sent there. So, we lived in a trailer here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/larry_karen_sharon_lakenheath_trailer.djvu .
Special Order No. M-143 dated August 11, 1961 appointed a listing of pilots in the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing (as broken down therein by categories of Headquarters 48th TAC Fighter Wing, 492nd TAC Fighter Squadron, 493rd TAC Fighter, and 494th TAC Fighter Squadron) that were appointed for duty for the F-100D/F aircraft, by Headquarters, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing.
DjVu Original http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_special_order_M143_19610811.djvu
My father standing next to the 492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron's building here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/492_TAC_sign_dad.djvu and here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/492_TAC_sign2_dad.djvu , Lt. Colonel James R. Jerrell III, Commander and Major R. J. Girard, Operations.
My father at Wheeless Air Force Base (1961) in North Africa here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/wheelessAFB_nAfrica.djvu .
My father was an avid photographer - in fact, he also did some developing. Here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/johnnye_blakeley_lakenheath1961.djvu is a photo he took and developed of my mother taken 1961 in their living room while stationed at Royal Air Force (RAF) Base - Lakenheath (just a few miles from RAF Mildenhall) located in Suffolk, England, just north of Cambridge, and about 2 hours' drive northeast of London. A photo of both of them together http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/roy_johnnye_lakenheath1961.djvu in their back yard.
What was some of the music being played in the United Kingdom (prior to the Beatles) in 1960? "Shakin All Over," Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, http://www.johnnykidd.co.uk/; Ted Heath Band, http://nfo.net/brit/bh4.html, Big Bands Database Plus http://nfo.net/index.html and, of course, music from American musicians.
My mother and father together in February, 1961, Paris, France http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/mother_dad_eiffel_tower.djvu in front of the Eiffel Tower here.
Photographs of my mother, my sisters, and me on a family trip to visit to London. Our father - as was the case most of the time - took these photographs:
Buckingham Palace where the changing of the guards take place here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_karen_sharon_mother_london2.djvu ; Lion statue here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_karen_sharon_mother_london3.djvu; A castle in the background here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_karen_sharon_mother_london.djvu ; Cannons along the ship channel here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_sharon_london_channel.djvu; Just me on a ship here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_ship.djvu ; and Mother, Karen, Sharon, and me on the ship here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_karen_sharon_mother_ship.djvu . And, possibly my first photograph taken of my parents together on this trip here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/mother_dad_london.djvu .
Letter of Appreciation dated November 1, 1961 http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/letter_of_appreciation19611104.djvu from Francis E. Binnell, Lieutenant Colonel, Director of Operations, Headquarters, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing to my father (and I presume another copy was sent to 1st Lieutenant Sam Johnson http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/sam_johnson.htm) that has the following regarding their participation in an "open day" for the public at RAF Waddinton, Lincoln, England on September 16, 1961: http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/letter_of_appreciation19611104.djvu
"This headquarters would like to add our sincere thanks and appreciation for a job well done. Your interest that you displayed in this project and attention to duty reflects great credit upon yourself and the United States Air Force. Contributions of this nature enhance our Anglo-American relationships and provide for a better understanding of our purpose in England."
Here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/directory_f100_group_flight_A.djvu is a photograph (with original signatures) of my father knelling behind the tail of an F-100 along with the following pilots (from left to right in the photograph). This photograph has been stamped in the lower bottom right-hand corner with the name, Dick Mischke - whom I presume to be Richard M. Mischke (A00857210), Major http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_4.djvu
This photograph was placed on a cardboard backing with the signatures surrounding the outside perimeter of the photograph. I cut out the signatures and stripped the photograph from the posterboard and under the photograph was the name, Amil P. Tweardy (AF13260069), First Sargeant - so I presume that's who actually put the poster together for them.
Charles (Chuck) A. Horner (63170A), 1st Lieutenant http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_19.djvu
Roy J. Blakeley (45482A), Captain http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_6.djvu
Hanns H. Hagen (A03093464), 1st Lieutenant http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_18.djvu
Roger D. Tucker (46855A), Captain http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_14.djvu
David G. Young (61866A), 1st Lieutenant http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_23.djvu
Patrick G. Claxton (A03025870), Captain http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48TFW_19620201_7.djvu
The above hyperlinks refer back to the pilot's information set out on the respective page of the following report.
This Web page contains is a copy of each of the 27 pages of a report dated February 1, 1962 called "Officers Roster - 48th Tactical Fighter Wing and Ancillary Units." http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/48thTFW_19620201.htm
Here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/lakenheath_492nd_fighter_squadron/mischke_f100s_lakenheath.djvu is a photograph of five F-100's in flight that was taken by Dick Mischke. It was mounted on a poster board and signatures surrounding the photograph signed by members of the squadron at a going away party held in honor of my father upon his assignment to the F-104 Starfighter. He had no indication until after arriving in the United States of what base he was going to be assigned to - so when we arrived in the States in New York City we just drove west awaiting word of his final destination. I remember that hamburgers http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/es/ct/burger_1 were around $1 in NYC and 25 cents in the rest of the nation! I loved hamburgers and still do.
Dick Mischke continues to be an avid photographer hobbyist in San Antonio, Texas even to this date (1/27/2007).
Here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/pencil_big.djvu is photo of my father's going away present from his squadron comrades at Lakenheath. He was affectionately referred to as the "time hog," so this gift was quite appropriate. It was made from a broom handle.