William B Blackmon, Jr

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
26 August 1950 - 17 January 1971
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Panel 05W Line 052


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William B Blackmon, Jr

25 Dec 2002

William B Blackmon

The photo and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.

Blackmon enlisted in the Army to satisfy his military obligation and get on with a cereer in electronics. He graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1968 and briefly attended Community College of Philadelphia. The 20-year-old specialist four was an ammunition bearer and scout observer with Company E of the 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade, in Viet Nam. He was killed on January 17, 1971. Survivors included his parents and four brothers.

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

06 Aug 2003

Willie, as we knew him, or Billy, as his family remembers him, was a true and brave friend. He was part of our recon platoon, operating off LZ Stinson in Quang Nai province. We worked the mountains and paddies southwest of Chu Lai.

He should not have been there the night he died. We went on a night time village raid, walking off Stinson and arriving to hit the ville at 2 AM, when his squad hit heavy vegetation outside the ville during our sweep, and triggered a U. S. artillery round which was rigged as a booby trap. Willie and two others died, Dave Coon and John "Tex" Dobroski. Two men lost legs, and others were wounded also.

We were able to have a memorial in 2001 for these brothers at our reunion, and although none of Willie's family was able to be there, they have the flag and other memories we had of him now.

From a member of his unit,
Dennis Loop

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In the early morning hours of 17 Jan 1971 the Recon Platoon, Echo 1/52 Infantry, conducted a raid on Tra Binh village 9 kilometers southwest of Binh Son. A booby trap was triggered as the troops approached the village, killing three men:
  • SP4 William B. Blackmon, Philadelphia, PA;
  • CPL David W. Coon, Fredonia, NY; and
  • SP4 John L. Dobroski, Houston, TX.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a native Philadelphian and Viet Nam veteran,
Jim McIlhenney

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Dec 2002
Last updated 02/24/2008