(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.
[DjVu typed copy - I have no handwritten original of this letter] http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/letter_rblakeley_david19650716.djvu
July 16, 1965
Well here I am at Da Nang Air Base with 17,000 other guys. Flew my 10th combat mission - 10 miles off the end of the runway!! Viet Cong had just finished ambushing a convoy and we were diverted from our original target. Caught about 200 Viet Cong in the open and really "ate" them up. The Marines were taking out casualties & we were striking over their heads. The Marines really appreciated the quick response to their call for "AIR." The Zip 4's were there immediately!!
We are living in a barrack so it's not bad. I sweat off 5#'s on every mission. The temperature is so hot that the cooling system in the aircraft won't cool it down. During flight I drink one canteen of water on each mission.
I arrived here the day after they put the mortor shells on the south end of the field. This place is completely surrounded and infiltrated with Viet Cong. You couldn't pay me to leave the base to go to town!!
My first mission here was a dive bomb and strafe with the Vietnamese Air Force in North Viet Nam. On my second pass a 57MM went by my right wing about 50-100 feet and I became immediately aware that they are playing for keeps here.
We F-104's will have a tough time getting a Mig because our mission is to patrol the Gulf of Tonkin and the Mig's never get more than 60 miles from Hanoi. I have been within 17 miles of Hanoi and 10 miles of the Chinese border. Chased a Mig once and got within 5 miles before he went in to the weather.
Don't know when I'm going to get promoted. Supposed to be today but who knows.
Will be here for another 20 days then will go to Saigon for 5 and Formosa for 5 then back here for a month. We fly one mission everyday. Sometimes it's air to ground (750# bomb and napalm) or Cap mission in the Tonkin Bay. The air to ground is more fun but it's also where you can get your tail shot down. They have lost 25 F-105's so far. We have lost one F-104 and a clipper picked him up OK.
Will be getting into Hong Kong so if you want anything just write. I'm taking movies here so will send them to you when I return to George in middle October. I hope!!
Tell Wanda and kids hello & keep smiling.