Blackburn, Donald, BG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
285 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GD-Commanding General (Deputy)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1968-1971, US Army Materiel Command (AMC)/Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)
Service Years
1938 - 1971

US


Special Forces
Brigadier General



Twelve Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Florida
Florida
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Blackburn, Donald (Don), BG USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
West Palm Beach
Last Address
Sarasota, FL

Date of Passing
May 24, 2008
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
SECTION 1 SITE 780 LH

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Brigadier General Donald C. "Don" Blackburn (United States Army, retired) (September 14, 1916 - May 24, 2008) was a United States Army Special Forces officer, best known for his significant command and developmental roles in the U.S. Army Special Forces. Commander of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group 1965-66.


Army service


Donald Blackburn was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve on May 30, 1938, and entered into active duty with the Army Sept. 22, 1940, assigned to the 24th Infantry at Fort Benning, Ga. At the outbreak of World War II, he was serving as an advisor to a battalion of the 12th Infantry, Philippine Army. Upon the fall of Bataan in April 1942, he evaded capture and until October 1945 conducted guerrilla warfare on the island of Luzon. During this latter period, he reorganized and commanded the 11th Infantry, Philippine Army, which was integrated in October 1945 as a regular unit in the Philippine military establishment.


Since World War II, Blackburn has served in various command and staff assignments. He was assigned to the Department of Military Psychology and Leadership, Tactical Department, United States Military Academy, in 1950. During 1953, he attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va. He was then assigned to NATO's Allied Forces Northern Europe, Oslo, Norway. On return to the United States in 1956, he was assigned as commanding officer, 3rd Training Regiment, Fort Jackson, S.C. In 1957, he was assigned to MAAG, Vietnam, and served as the senior advisor to the commanding general, 5th Military Region (Mekong Delta). In October 1958, he was assigned as commanding officer, 77th Special Forces Group (now the 7th SFG) where he was instrumental in initiating Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia. He attended the 1960 class of the National War College. He served as deputy director of developments for Special Warfare, Office of the Chief of Research and Development from 1961-1964, and then was reassigned to the office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations as Director of Special Warfare. Blackburn was SOG Commander (Studies and Observations Group) Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, from May 1965 to May 1966. He served as assistant deputy director, Defense Communications Planning Group from August 1966 to August 1967. He was the assistant division commander, 82nd Airborne Division from September 1967 to October 1968. He was the Director of Plans and Programs, office of the Chief of Research and Development from October 1968 until his retirement in 1971.


In retirement


Following his retirement from military service, Blackburn took a position with Braddock, Dunn and McDonald, where he served as vice president, special projects until he retired in 1979.


While 77th/7th SFG(A) Commander, he assembled the first Operation White Star Mobile Training Teams. The first itieration was led by Bull Simons whom he had first gotten to know from the Philippines. He was the director of plans and programs, office of the Chief of Research and Development from October 1968 until his retirement in 1971. While in the position, he authorized and oversaw the initial electin of the Son Tay POW for Operation Ivory Coast, briefing LTG Wheeler. He was part of the briefing with Dr. Henry Kissinger. He is the one that chose BG Manor (Air Force and overall commander of the Raid), Bull Simons, Dick Meadows and "Doc" Cataldo. After the Raid, he was the one that navigated the furor over the fact there were no prisoners.


   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   
 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Master Parachutist
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 
 Unit Assignments
US Army Reserve Command (USARC)1st Battalion, 24th Infantry RegimentPhilippine DivisionUnited States Military Academy West Point (Staff)
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)/Allied Forces Northern EuropeUS Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) (USASOC) /US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne)MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)77th Special Forces Group
Department of the Army (DA)Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACVMACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)Defense Communications Agency (DCA)
82nd Airborne DivisionUS Army Materiel Command (AMC)/Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)
  1938-1940, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
  1940-1942, 0221, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment/HHC
  1942-1945, Philippine Division
  1950-1953, United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)
  1953-1956, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)/Allied Forces Northern Europe
  1956-1957, US Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) (USASOC) /US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne)
  1957-1958, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
  1958-1961, 77th Special Forces Group
  1961-1964, Department of the Army (DA)
  1964-1965, Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1965-1966, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
  1966-1967, Defense Communications Agency (DCA)
  1967-1968, 82nd Airborne Division/HHC
  1968-1971, US Army Materiel Command (AMC)/Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 WWII - American Theater
  1941-1942 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)
  1941-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1942-1942 Battle of Bataan/Battle of the Pockets 23 January to 17 February 1942
  1942-1942 Battle of Bataan/Battle of Trail 2
  1942-1942 Battle of Bataan/Battle of the Points 22 January to 13 February 1942
  1944-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle for Manila
  1945-1945 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle for Recapture of Bataan
  1945-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Surrender of Japan
  1945-1946 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)
  1959-1960 Multiple JUSMAAGV Operations 1959-1963
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (1962-65)
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
 Colleges Attended 
Armed Forces Staff CollegeNational War College
  1953-1953, Armed Forces Staff College
  1960-1961, National War College
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011