COL Robert "Bob" D. Blanton was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 01/26/2006 at the age of 70.9
Jonas Ridge, NC
Date of Birth 02/16/1935
Served in the U.S. Marine Corps
Served in Vietnam with HMM-263, HML-367
This information was provided by Barry Geller, SSN search Feb 2011

More detail on this person: BLANTON, Robert Entered into eternal rest the morning of Thursday, January 26, 2006, Col. Robert Delano Blanton, USMC (Ret), husband of Joyce Humphries Blanton of Lineville, Alabama. Residence, North Charleston, South Carolina. The relatives and friends of Colonel and Mrs. Robert D. Blanton are invited to attend the Funeral Service of the former in St. George's Episcopal Church Wednesday morning, February 1, 2006, at eleven o'clock. Inurnment will follow in Riverview Memorial Park. Friends may call at J. HENRY STUHR, INC., GREENRIDGE ROAD CHAPEL Tuesday evening, January 31, 2006, from six until eight o'clock. Born February, 16, 1935 in Charleston County, South Carolina, Col. Blanton was the son of the late Edward Patterson and Helen Geiger Blanton. He was a graduate of Chicora High School (1953); attended the College of Charleston, excelling at physics while playing varsity basketball; graduated from the University of South Carolina (1957) and later attended the School of Forestry Management at Duke University. Col. Blanton joined the Marine Corps in 1957 where he learned to fly. He left the Marine Corps for three years, working as a crop dusting pilot and then flew for the U.S. Forestry Service in North Carolina fighting forest fires. He once landed a plane on I-40 west of Durham, NC after the police blocked traffic for him. He rejoined the Marine Corps and became a Naval flight instructor. Col. Blanton served in Viet Nam where he performed medical evacuation of wounded Americans - often under hostile fire. While serving in Viet Nam, he was four-times awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross: the highest honor awarded to pilots. He was also awarded 57 Air Medal citations, three Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and a number of other medals. The citations frequently referred to evacuating wounded Americans under hostile fire _without regard for his personal safety. Col. Blanton returned to Viet Nam for a second tour flying escort missions in Cobra helicopters. No aircraft he escorted was ever shot down. After the war, he became commanding officer of two different helicopter squadrons. Later in his career, he was a popular leader with young marines and was acting commanding officer of The Basic School where all new Marine Corps officers receive their fundamental officer training. Other notable moments in Col. Blanton's career followed important world events and include providing emergency assistance after hurricane Betsey in 1965; leading an operation to remove mines from the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1974; evacuation assistance in Cyprus after the Greek coup and subsequent Turkish invasion; planning assistance for Middle-East operations during the Iran hostage crisis; Fleet Marine Force operations for the Pacific Ocean. Col. Blanton's military and leisure travel took him to over 16 countries. He easily bonded with people, and always enjoyed the company of the local people and their culture. He was a legendary athlete in a number of sports throughout his life and was always involved in his sons' academic and athletic activities. Col. Blanton retired to his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, recently residing in Jonas Ridge. Survivors include his wife: Joyce H. Blanton of N. Charleston, SC; three sons: Dr. Sean A. Blanton (Yasemin Ipek) of Chicago, IL, Jason R. Blanton (Amy) of Washington, DC and Matthew E. Blanton of Chicago, IL; two sisters: Ann Mixson and Mary Louise Seyle, both of N. Charleston, SC; two brothers: Edward P. Blanton, Jr. of N. Charleston, SC and Eugene Blanton of Mt. Pleasant, SC; and a granddaughter: Pelin Elizabeth Blanton. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 5900 Core Rd, Ste 504, N. Charleston, SC 29406 (, or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 1247 Lake Murray Blvd., Irmo, SC 29063 (

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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