(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.
First to Fight
At 0903 on March 8, 1965 the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by Brigadier General Frederick J. Karch, landed at Da Nang (Red Beach). The MEB included two Marine Battalion Landing Teams (BLTs) - 3/9 (Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. McPartlin, Jr.) which landed over Red Beach 2, and 1/3 (Lieutenant Colonel Herbert J. Bain) which arrived by air from Okinawa. The 9th MEB mission was to defend the Da Nang Airbase. This was the first U.S. ground combat unit to land in the Republic of Vietnam.
"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
"Spiritual," Josh Haden (Johnny Cash version - MP3 audio file/lyrics) http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/spiritual.htm
In the history of the Vietnam War, the Year 1965 is notable for momentous and fateful U.S. decisions. In February, after a dramatic increase in activity initiated by the Viet Cong, the United States responded by increasing its own level of commitment to the Republic of Vietnam. For the first time, U.S. jet aircraft were authorized to support the RVNAF in ground operations in the South without restriction. In immediate retaliation for guerrilla raids on U.S. installations in the South, U.S aircraft also began bombing targets in the southern reaches of North Vietnam. In early March, the latter program evolved into Rolling Thunder, the sustained bombing of the North. Also, during March, two U.S. Marine battalions were landed at Da Nang on the coast of Central Vietnam. The airbase at Da Nang was a major supporter of the Rolling Thunder bombing, and the mission of the Marines was to strengthen its defenses. Those troops represented the first U.S. ground combat commitment to the Asian mainland since Korea. "The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, Chapter 4: American Troops Enter the Ground War, March-July 1965 (PHASE I IN THE BUILD-UP OF U.S. FORCES, MARCH-JULY 1965)," pp. 389-485, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971) http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon3/pent8.htm
Initially, the Marine intervention was to be limited. The JCS landing order directed that the Marine force "will not, repeat will not, engage in day-to-day actions against the VC." The role of the Marines was to protect the base. The area around Da Nang would be protected by the South Vietnamese armed forces. But the Marines' mission was enlarged as the American troop buildup continued. By April they were patrolling into the densely populated area south of Da Nang.
Marine commanders felt they could not adequately defend the airbase if they were unable to patrol farther, and in July their tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) was expanded to include the region south of the Cau Do River, a few miles southwest of Da Nang. On July 12, elements of the 9th Marine Regiment moved into the area and quickly received fire from a VC force coming from the hamlet of Cam Ne 4 (numbered in order to identify it in the complex of six villages of the same name). The Marines pulled back and called for close air support. - "What Really Happened at Cam Ne?" Although described as one of the top works of 20th-century journalism, the CBS report presented only one side of the story, Peter Brush, http://www.historynet.com/. http://www.historynet.com/magazines/vietnam/3027741.html
In midsummer 1965, in discussions with General Westmoreland, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara agreed to deploy additional U.S. troops both Marine and Army to South Vietnam. - "The Marine War: III MAF in Vietnam, 1965-1971," Jack Shulimson, U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamcenter/events/1996_Symposium/96papers/marwar.htm, Accessed August 8, 2007. 1996 Vietnam Symposium: "After the Cold War: Reassessing Vietnam", 18-20 April 1996 http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamcenter/events/1996_Symposium/96papers/papers.htm
"U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup - 1965," http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1965/index.cfm?page=0001, online version of "U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup - 1965," provided by eHistory at The Ohio State University http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/default.cfm), accessed April 14, 2007.
Jack Shulimson and Major Charles M. Johnson, USMC, History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., 1978 (Reprinted 1984), Library of Congress Card No. 78-600120
Excerpt from Preface:
"U. S. Marines in Vietnam, 1965 is largely based on previously classified studies prepared by the History and Museums Division in the 1960s and early 1970s. These are: Lieutenant Colonel John J. Cahill and Jack Shulimson, "History of U. S. Marine Corps Operations in Vietnam, January-June 1965"; Jack Shulimson, "U. S. Marine Corps Operations in the Republic of Vietnam, July-December 1965"; and Jack Shulimson, "U. S. Marines in Vietnam, Introduction,'' and "U.S. Marines in Vietnam, May-December 1965,'' Parts 1 and 2 of a then projected eight-part, single-volume history, entitled ' 'Marines in Vietnam, 1954-Mayl968."
In 1972, Major Johnson was given the task of combining these four separate histories into one coherent narrative. Upon Major Johnson's departure from the division the following year, Mr. Shulimson continued with the revision, incorporating new research material as it became available. In addition to the four studies listed above, the authors have consulted the official records of the U. S. Marine Corps, records of other Services when appropriate, the Oral History Collection of the History and Museums Division, comment files of the History and Museum Division, and pertinent published primary and secondary works. Although none of the information in this history is classified, some of the documentation on which it is based still has a classified designation..."
"Killer," Alice Cooper
MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/killer.htm
Looks like like a child to me.
They are also going to need some Vietnamese money over here, when "off base" http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/directory_vietnam_money.djvu
"The Marines had already landed and were fighting the Viet Cong in Vietnam since March, 1965. RLT-7 (Regimental Landing Team ) was quickly, formed around the core of the 7th Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, California. The entire 7th Marine Regiment, with all of it's equipment and supporting units, left Long Beach and San Diego, California, for the far East and Okinawa on the 23rd of May, it's final destination Vietnam.
Between 24 -26 June, LtCo. Charles H. Bodley's, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines embarked on board the amphibious ships Iwo Jima (LPH-2), Talledega (APA 208), and Point Defiance (LSD 31) in Okinawa and departed for Vietnam. The Battalion landed unopposed near the city of Qui Nhon in II Corps, on 1 July 1965. The Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines embarked in the Okanogan (APA 220, and the Alamo (LSD 33) in Okinawa deployed to Vietnam arriving off the coast of Qui Nhon on 6 July. By July 7, the 2nd Battalion relieved the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines who had reembarked the waiting ships to become part of the SLF off the coast of Vietnam." - "A Brief History of the 7th Marines: 1965 - 1970" http://www.marzone.com/7thMarines/Hst0001.htm, Victor J. Vilionis, http://www.marzone.com/
"When night fell, the forces of the Vietnamese government retracted into various brittle defensive points and the small numbers of hard, well-armed Viet Cong roamed at will. ... Furthermore, the destruction of main force units of the Viet Cong yielded little result. Phoenix-like, new forces arose from the ashes of the old. The Viet Cong infrastructure was the life-giver to destroyed units through its ability to recruit from among the peasant masses. At the same time the terrorist apparatus of the infrastructure ensured the neutrality of the Vietnamese peasant. The ultimate enemy of the Vietnamese government and the Marine Corps was everywhere, yet nowhere. ... The transition from June to July 1965 in Vietnam was sharp and stormy for the Marine Corps. Early in the morning on 1 July 1965, Viet Cong forces attacked the southern end of the Da Nang Airbase between two fortified static posts...The Viet Cong inflicted moderate damage during the attack and quickly retired after the demolitions thrust. " - Captain Russel H. Stolfi (who in 1967 held a doctor of philosophy degree in history from Stanford University, is Assistant Professor of History at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California), USMCR, Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1968, "U. S. Marine Corps, Civic Action Efforts in Vietnam, March 1965 - March 1966."
- "Rocket Attacks on USAF Bases in Vietnam" (the first page of the document showing the attack of July 1, 1965 on the Da Nang Air Base here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/rocket_attack19650701.djvu.
The full report can be accessed at the Research Division, Organizational History Branch, Air Force Historical Research Agency http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/, The Vietnam section of the Research Division http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/vietnam_war/vietnam.html
My father's remark in his July 5, 1965 letter about this incident elaborates somewhat differently in terms of the damage "demolished 2 fighter aircraft and a transport. 3-1/2 million dollars!!"
Neither mentioned the most important incident of that night of July 1, 1965 and that was the death of SSgt Terance Kay Jensen:
JENSEN, TERANCE KAY
SSgt - Air Force - Regular
33 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on 01/14/32
From DETROIT LAKES, MINNESOTA
Length of service 14 years.
Casualty was on 07/01/65
in QUANG NAM (Da Nang), SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
OTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
Body was recovered
Panel 02E - - Line 26
For personal accounts of this fateful night please go to http://www.war-stories.com/t_jensen-dab-poss-1966.htm
Here is a map of the Da Nang Air Base and surrounding area from July, 1965 - December, 1965. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/Da Nang_area196507.gif This map was accessed from this Web page http://www.ehistory.com/vietnam/books/buildup/0060.cfm
Bell UH-1 "Huey" http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Rotary/Huey/HE11.htm approaching and passing overhead here - (MP3 audio file - 1.7 MB) http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/bell_uh1_huey.mp3
AH-1G Cobra helicopter here (image) http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/chopper_ah_1G_cobra.bmp
Actually, the first U.S. helicopter mission in Vietnam occurred in 1962 - commanded by Colonel Archie Clapp. The squadron was the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 (HMM 362) http://www.hmm362.org/index.htm flying UH-34's. This first tactical unit of the Marines was documented by famed journalist, Dickey Chapelle, in a November 1962 article covering the Vietnam helicopter war.
"Wisconsin-born photojournalist Chapelle was one of the first women foreign correspondents to cover World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and other U.S. military engagements worldwide. Her writings and pictures appeared in the magazines Reader's Digest, National Geographic, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post from the 1940's to the 1960's. Chapelle was killed in Vietnam in 1965 while pursuing her profession." - The Wisconsin Historical Society http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/, Photographs from the Vietnam War by Dickey Chapelle http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=829