BLAKELEY, ROY JAMES
BLAKELEY, ROY JAMES
Rank / Branch:
MAJOR, AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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ROY JAMES BLAKELY, MAJOR, AIR FORCE, ROTAN, FISHER COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Aviator Wings, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.
Roy James Blakeley, "Blake" as he was called by family and friends, was born December 10th, 1928, in Wink, Texas to James Louis and Violet Blakeley. A brother, David followed a few years later. The family moved around the West Texas, Eastern New Mexico and East Texas oil fields. His father was injured in an accident working for Shell Oil Company. The family moved to Waldron, Arkansas where his father went into business building bomb boxes for the war effort. The business failed and they bought a resturant.
Roy graduated from Waldron High School in 1946 before his 17th birthday and right after he turned 17, he entered the U.S. Navy. The family then moved near Rotan, Texas. Roy was discharged from the Navy in 1948 and he entered the University of Arkansas.
At the University of Arkansas, he was a member of the ROTC program. He worked summers on drilling rigs around Rotan and the Hamlin, Texas Area. There in Rotan, he met his wife to be, Johnnye Ashton. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas in May 1952 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He accepted an appointment as a 2LT, U.S. Air Force.
He married his wife in 1953 in Rotan after he had completed flight school at Bryan Air Force Base, Bryan, Texas. This marriage produced three children, Larry, Sharon and Karen.
As a career Air Force Pilot, the Blakeley family moved from base to base, coast to coast. Assignments were at Brook Air Force Base, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Cannon Air Force Base, Clinton Air Force Base, Luke Air Force Base, George Air Force Base and Dyess Air Force Base. He also had overseas assignments in France and in Japan.
Roy was a very devoted husband and father. His family was the most important thing in his life and everyone knew this about him. All of his free time was spent with them doing things they could all enjoy as a family. He loved life and was a happy person with a bit of a smile on his face most of the time. He, also loved boating, camping, and fishing.
Flight School, 1953, Brian AFB, Bryan, Texas
Next to his family, he loved flying and took a lot of teasing in the squadron about being a "time hog." He seldon turned down an opportunity to get extra flight hours. He won the "Air Force Pilot of the Month" in April 1956 for safely landing a F-84F after a flame-out while stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base. He was cited in the Air Force Times for the Month of June 1`956 for his superior flying skills.
Picture of Blackely as a 1LT as it appeared in the Air Force Times, June 1956
As a "gag gift" for being percieved as a "time hog" some of the pilots in the squadron made a large pencil out of a broomstick by cutting it about 12" long, painted and sharpened it to look like a pencil and labeled it "Time Hog" for him to log all of his flying hours. It was presented to him at a squadron party. As a small boy when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer was always "a pilot". He took his job seriously and was a very skilled pilot. The wing commander and general on base called him on numerous occasions when they needed to be flown somewhere. They had confidence in him as a pilot and trusted him to get them safely to their next destination and back.
Captain Roy J. Blakeley, a F-104 fighter pilot with the Tactical Air Command, was killed trying to land his disabled F-104 tail number 56-0908 at the Chu Lai Air Field, South Vietnam during an aerial operation on July 22, 1965. The aircraft had been damaged by ground fire from a bombing run and the incident was the result of hostile action. He was on a TDY mission to the DaNang Air Force Base at the time. He was posthumously promoted to Major and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. He was buried with full military honors at the Rotan Cemetery in Rotan, Texas.
He was survived by his wife Johnnye and his children, Larry 11, Sharon 9, and Karen 7. They were living at George Air Force Base, near Victorville, California. He was survived by his parents of Las Vegas, Nevada and his younger brother David, who was a Lt. Colonel in the Army.
After Major Blakeley's death, his wife and children moved to Rotan, where they remained until each of the children had completed high school.
Rotan Cemetery, Rotan, Tx