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Guys,

I learned earlier today that BG (Ret) Don Blackburn passed away May 24, 2008, in Sarasota, FL. He was 91.

In the SF/special ops community, Blackburn was something of a leged. He ran guerrilla operations in the Philippines during Word War II; commanded the 77th/7th Special Forces Group (ABN) in the late 1950's; commanded MACVSOG from 1965 - 1966; and was Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (SACSA) to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff in the late 1960's/early 1970's.

As Chief SOG, Blackburn brought another SF legend, Arthur "Bull" Simons in as chief of OP35 -- cross border ops. Simons and Blackburn's relationship went back to World War II in the Philippines. During his time with the 77th/7th SFG (ABN), Blackburn oversaw the deployment of the first "White Star" Mobile Training Teams to Laos; the first "White Star" team being commanded by Bull Simons.

Blackburn is perhaps best remembered as being one of the driving forces behind the effort to rescue US POWs from the Son Tay camp outside of Hanoi in November, 1970. The ground commander for the Son Tay raid was Bull Simons.

The SF/special ops community has lost a true legend and America has lost a dedicated solider and patriot.

Jack
 
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