Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

ORVILLE "BLACKIE" BLACKBURN

Home
The Z Square 7 Crew
Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
HIRE OUR VETERANS!
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
500th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing Honor Roll
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
"Lili Marlene" The Song!
"Lili Marlene" The B-17
"Lily Marlene" The B-24
"Lili Marlene" The B-24
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
American Battle Monuments Commission - Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission - Memorials
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
THE MARINE CORPS WAR MEMORIAL (IWO JIMA )
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
M/Sgt Roy P. Benavidez, Vietnam Medal Of Honor
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Some Pictures of World War 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 3
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 4
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 5
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 6
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 7
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 8
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 9
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 10
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 11
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 12
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 13
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 14
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 15
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 16
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 17
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 18
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 19
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 21
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 22
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 25
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B29 Superfortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B26 Marauder
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B25 Mitchell
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B24 Liberator
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B17 Flying Fortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - PBM-5 Mariner
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A20 Havoc Attack Bomber
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C47 Transport
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - P61 Black Widow
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A26 Invader
GIVE OUR VETERANS JOBS!!
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Airmen Medal Of Honor Memorial
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
B-29 Crew Positions & Specifications
About The Book
C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Contacts
Ivan Fail "The Eighteen Wheeler's Hymn"
Awards
Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building with photo album
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
THE GENERAL AND MRS CURTIS LEMAY FOUNDATION
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
History of "Diamond Lil" With A Photo Album
History of "FIFI" With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
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Page 24
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Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
OUR VETERANS NEED WORK!
Pearl Harbor with Photo Album
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

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Blackie Blackburn

Our good friend Blackie Blackburn passed into the wild blue this afternoon from complications from heart surgery. His family was with him.
 
Rest in Peace, my friend.
Bill Copeland
March 22, 2010
 

Blackie will be buried Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 11:00 AM at:
Greenwood Memorial Park
4300 Imperial Avenue
San Diego, California 92113
619-264-3131
 
His obituary will appear in the  San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, March 27, 2010.
Their website is: <signonsandiego.com/>
 
Blackie's last instructions asked In lieu of flowers that donations be made to his beloved FIFI, the only flyable B-29 in which he devoted so many hours to.
 
FIFI is with the Commemorative Air Force, B29/B24 Squadron. Details  will be in the obituary. Blackie devoted  his all to the aircraft that effected his and the world's life.
 
Best regards
Bill Copeland
 

MSgt Orville “Blackie” Blackburn, USAF (Ret)
Born in Los Angeles on May 2nd 1924, has passed on to heaven with all his loved ones by his bedside on March 22nd 2010. He was a loving husband and father and a wonderful partner and friend. Once Blackie made a friend of you, he’d give the shirt off his back to help when and if you needed it. As a man who strove to make the world a better place. He was always giving of himself to charitable causes, touching thousands of lives for the better – A True American Hero!
 

Blackie had the privilege of being the top turret gunner on the largest, most advanced four-engine bomber aircraft existing in 1945, the B-29. Blackie flew over 35 combat missions in less than nine months as part of the 73rd bomb wing based in Saipan, in the Marianas Islands and was part of both the first B-29 combat mission against Japan in November 1944 and the last B-29 combat mission in August of 1945. On one mission to bomb a Japanese aircraft factory, two of the groups’ planes were shot down and the lead plane was damaged so badly it could not drop its load of bombs. This critical run was in danger of failing, but Blackie’s aircraft heroically took the lead and successfully completed the mission. On another mission, his B-29 was caught in a “smoke thermal” from a bombing run over Tokyo. The incendiary attack produced so much heat, that the B-29 was immediately forced 5000 feet higher in the air, while flipping onto its back. Blackie recalled that some of the planes did not escape and crashed into the flames below. On many other missions they barely escaped death, while many other crews perished. But Blackie and his crewmates were willing and ready to sacrifice their lives for our country that they dearly loved. At the end of the war, Blackie participated in two mercy missions in B-29s, to drop desperately needed supplies to the interned men in Japanese POW camps. Blackie was recalled for the Korean Conflict and remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve until 1964, retiring as a Master Sergeant. Blackie’s decorations and awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Presidential Unit Citation with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, the American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Three Service Stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the Korean War 50th Anniversary Appreciation Medal. On October 9th 2009 he was inducted into the American Combat Airman Hall Of Fame.

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Blackie returned to the United States after World War II and attended college. After college he served with the Los Angeles Police Department as a detective for 25 years. After a brief retirement, Blackie then served with the San Diego School Police Department for 16 years and retired again in 1994.

 

Shortly after, the only remaining flying B-29 “FiFi” landed at nearby Gillespie Field for a short stop on her cross country exhibition tour. Not expecting that the huge B-29 could land at a small airport of that size, Blackie went to investigate. He spoke with the crew who were eager to learn of his heroic service in the bomber during WWII. The captain was so impressed with Blackie, that he immediately offered him a uniform and invited him to join the crew continuing on their multi-city tour. Hours later he was aboard FiFi as an honored addition to the team.

Since then, Blackie has remained with the B-29 as a lifetime member of the Commemorative Air Force, donating countless hours and money (Touring with FiFi and helping to keep her maintained) He entertained and educated thousands about this great aircraft and the brave airmen that played such a pivotal role in bringing WWII to an earlier end, thereby saving countless lives on both sides of the conflict. His patriotism and love for country was truly inspirational and will never be forgotten. He was a great man who will forever remain in our hearts. We will truly miss him.

 

Blackie is survived by his domestic partner, Diane Johnson, his son Charles Blackburn, daughters Diane Rodriguez and Connie Risher, stepsons Dender Sotelo and Kelsey Fung and stepdaughters Jodel Navarro and Kim Ryan, 14 Grandchildren and 9 Great Grandchildren.

 

Graveside service to be held at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery on March 30th at 11:00 am 4300 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA  92113

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Orville “Blackie” Blackburn’s name to the B-29 “FiFi’ of the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron – 9600 Wright Drive, P.O. Box 62000 Midland, TX 79711-2000


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  http://www.cafb29b24.org/
 
It is with great pleasure to announce to you that Orville "Blackie"  Blackburn is to be honored by the Commemorative Air Force by being inducted into their Hall of Fame. Blackie will be one of the first enlisted men to be so honored.

He will be inducted at the Airsho in Midland, October 11, 2009.
 
Blackie is longtime crew on FIFI and has trained many in the fine art of scanning on a B-29.
 
His wartime service is exemplary having flown 37 missions.
 
I am honored to call him my friend.
 
Bill Copeland
Moderator
www.b-29.org
 
 

Blackie is in the Airmen's Hall of Fame.
We saw many B-29 and CAF friends.
Among them was Chauncey of the famous "Goin' Jessie".
 
Bill   10/13/2009
Flower Mound
 

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Please click on the camera to see the pictures taken by our friend Bill Copeland  at the induction ceremony and the CAF.   Thanks again, Bill!

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Blackie's Induction

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Blackie with Colonel Tibbetts, pilot of the Enola Gay, and another FIFI crew member.

 

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Hap Halloran & Blackie Blackburn

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