Blalock, Dennis F., COL

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1946-1971, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
Service Years
1941 - 1971

Infantry

Colonel



Three Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Louisiana
Louisiana
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Blalock, Dennis F., COL USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
New Roads, Louisiana
Last Address
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Date of Passing
Sep 24, 1995
 
Location of Interment
Port Hudson National Cemetery - Zachary, Louisiana
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: SECTION I SITE 389

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord Army National Guard Retired


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Dennis Ferrell Blalock was born to William Franklin Blalock and Marie Louise Chenevert Blalock, in New Roads, Louisiana. He had one sister, Rita Grace Blalock Cole. Dennis spent his earliest years on the farm of his grandmother, Eliska Samson Chenevert, near False River. When his father was promoted to a new position with the railroad, the family moved to Alexandria, Louisiana. 

Following graduation from Bolton High School, Dennis attended college first at Louisiana State University and then at the University of Texas in Austin. He left school and enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 9, 1941. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and entered active duty on September 30, 1942. During World War II, Dennis served as a unit commander with the 36th Division 'T-Patchers' (infantry), where he saw extensive action in the European Theater and was wounded three times (Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters). He was awarded a Silver Star (GO 73 Headquarters 36th Division 45) for gallantry in action during the Rapido River conflict in January 1944, and a Bronze Star for heroic action during the routing of a Nazi garrison to liberate 800 Jewish prisoners from a concentration camp near Haguenau, France, in March 1945. He received five battle stars and the following campaign medals: Rome-Arno, Rhineland, Naples-Foggia, Central Europe, Southern France, European, African, and Middle Eastern campaigns. Dennis served as an occupational mayor in Germany following the war, and was finally discharged from active duty on March 31, 1946. He continued to serve his country in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a colonel. 

After the war, Dennis first returned to his childhood hometown, Alexandria, Louisiana. He then moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. While there, a fraternity brother set him up on a blind date with the woman who was to become his wife, Thelma Rita Stanborough. Together, they had a daughter, a son, and four grandchildren. Dennis spent most of his professional career with Matlack Trucking Inc., retiring as a senior operations manager. It was through Matlack that he transferred from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. 

Dennis was a man of strong character. He had lifelong friends from his military service and fraternity who knew they could literally trust him with their lives. A humble man, Dennis was not one to talk about his military service, even when prodded. His children did not even know how or when he had earned the medals that were tucked underneath his socks in the top dresser drawer. When he finally granted a series of interviews to his daughter-in-law to record family history, he explained his reluctance: "When you look into the eyes of the man you have to kill, you don't talk about it." He found solace in his younger years through fishing and later through gardening. He was adored by his grandchildren, who often helped "Grampsy" in the garden. 

Dennis died on September 24, 1995, at Medical Center of Baton Rouge. He was 77 years old. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with military honors and interment at Port Hudson National Cemetery near Zachary. 

Other members in Dennis' family who served during World War II include his wife, Thelma Stanborough Blalock (a civilian employee with the Army Air Corps); his brothers-in-law, Thomas William Stanborough (in the Navy, a survivor of the U.S.S. Arizona, later died in the Solomon Sea) and Zachariah T. Stanborough (a bomber pilot with the Army Air Corps); his father-in-law, Thomas Stanborough (a naturalized American who served as Ship's Master with the Merchant Marine, sunk by U-158 in the Gulf of Mexico); and numerous cousins.

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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 
 Unit Assignments
36th Infantry DivisionUS Army Reserve Command (USARC)
  1942-1946, 1542, 36th Infantry Division
  1946-1971, US Army Reserve Command (USARC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Naples-Foggia Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)/Battle of Monte Cassino
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1946 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)
 Colleges Attended 
Louisiana State University at Baton RougeUniversity of Texas at AustinTulane University
  1937-1939, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge
  1940-1941, University of Texas at Austin
  1946-1948, Tulane University
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