James Lisman Blackwell, Jr

Army of the United States
27 December 1940 - 17 October 1967
Evansville, Indiana
Panel 28E Line 019

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
James Lisman Blackwell, Jr.
James Lisman Blackwell, Jr.
holding his son Michael James Blackwell
July 8, 1967

The database page for James Lisman Blackwell, Jr

09 November 2001

For and To James Lisman Blackwell, Jr

You are loved and remembered here by your family; Mother Jeanette, Sisters Julie and Patty, Wife Celinda, Son Michael and Daughter-In-Law Sharon, and granddaughter Reilly Stacy Blackwell, (with one more grandchild to come soon as well!) and many others as well.

I appreciate what you and your peers did for your country and have tried to make my life an example, as you did. In living myself, I have tried to accept the gift of your sacrifice, and so transform war into peace, hate into love, and death into life. There's still a lot of work left to do.

Thank you for all the gifts you gave me - I have tried to use them well. Don't worry about me - I have been blessed in many ways and with a truly beautiful family - wonderful mother and step-father, loving wife, and miraculous children.

I'll look forward to our day of reunion.

Love Always, Your son,
Michael James Stacy Blackwell

12 July 2001

It is with deep gratitude we are remembering you and all the others who served and died in times of war so that we may enjoy the Freedom and Liberties that make the United States of America great.

A memorial initiated by his West Point classmate, USMA 1963,
Clark T. Ballard, Jr., M.D., Colonel, U S Army (Ret)
66 Leschi Drive, Steilacoom, WA 98388-1514
12 Jul 2001

James Blackwell
West Point 1963 - Courtesy BGen Ong

04 May 2002

A final salute to a fine American
and my West Point Classmate.
From a Vietnam veteran,

Ramon M. Ong
Brigadier General (Ret)
Armed Forces of the Philippines
USMA Class of 1963


08 Oct 2003

Jim was a good friend and a fine officer. We served together for three years at West Point in Company G-1, for two years as tank Company Commanders with the 1st Battalion, 70th Armor, in Augsburg, and for a year as students in the Armor officer’s Advanced Course in Ft. Knox KY.

At Ft. Knox we both received orders to be “infused” into Infantry units in Vietnam, following a short Infantry refresher course at Ft. Benning and Jungle School in Panama.

In Vietnam, Jim was assigned as S-2 to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry, commanded by LTC Allen, who had been the Battalion XO of our tank battalion in Germany two years before.

He was killed in action with LTC Allen shortly after joining the unit.

His death was a tragic shock to one who served with him for most of his military career. Jim was always full of zest for life and enthusiasm for his job. He loved his family and the Army. All of us who knew him miss him greatly.

From a friend and colleague,
Frederick Bothwell
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

18 Jan 2006

Jim Blackwell was my roommate at West Point during Beast Barracks in 1959. He was supportive and a team player during that hectic time. He was very likeable and although we were in different companies (he was in G-1 and I was in H-1) we remained friends throughout our cadet days.

From a West Point Classmate,
Francis G. Hall, Jr
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

27 Mar 2006

I read of Captain Blackwell's fate in "The Beast Was Out There" and "They Marched Into Sunlight" and was quite moved.

My condolences to all the families who lost loved ones on that October day.

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

06 Jun 2007

A detailed account of the battle of Ong Thanh in which Jim lost his life can be found in the book "The Beast Was Out There" by BG (Ret) James E. Shelton.

From a friend,
Fred Bothwell

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry had been operating west of the village of Chon Thanh since October 8th, conducting "search and destroy" operations in an area known to be occupied by large Viet Cong forces. Only four of the battalion's five companies (HHC, A, B, and D) were involved; C Company was providing fire base security for the supporting artillery unit.

On the morning of 17 October, Alpha Company led out from the night defensive perimeter on a recon-in-force with the battalion command group in company and Delta Company in trail. Around noontime Alpha was engaged by a very much larger enemy force and Delta Company deployed in support. By the time the remaining forces could deploy in support of the engaged troops, the battalion command group and both Alpha and Delta had sustained very heavy casualties. Charlie Company was air-lifted in to assist Bravo and HHC and by late afternoon the area was secured as the VC forces withdrew.

The fighting on 17 October resulted in 55 men killed in action, 3 who later died of their wounds, two missing in action, and 75 or more wounded. All 65 men in Alpha Company had been killed or wounded, Delta Company was little better off, and the Battalion Commander and his command group were dead.

The Virtual Wall's Ong Thanh memorial summarizes the action and lists the dead. The 2/28's artillery Forward Observer, 2nd Lt Harold Durham (C Btry, 6/15th Arty), received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions, and the 15th Arty's memorial includes a newspaper article which gives another account of the battle.

Visit the
28th Infantry Regiment

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
Michael James Blackwell

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Jul 2001
Last updated 01/19/2008