Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Archives

Dr. Laurence H. Blackburn, Jr. Oral History Edit


OHP 008


  • July 12, 2013 (Creation)


  • 20 Sheets (Part)
  • 6 Files (Part)

Agent Links



  • Scope and Contents

    Laurence Blackburn began his interview by discussing his decision to become a doctor. He then recounted joining the Navy, meeting his wife while in medical school, and attending flight surgeon school. Blackburn then continued, relating his decision to serve aboard Intrepid rather than Randolph, and shortly thereafter learning that Intrepid was being sent to Vietnam. Blackburn provided in depth information regarding the medical department throughout the remainder of the interview. He covered topics such as sick bay’s daily schedule, the complement of men and their functions within the medical department, and how the medical department prepared for a deployment. Blackburn also described accidents that had occurred aboard ship, including the hydrogen sulfide gas incident, in which he was injured; a false report of a man overboard; and an accident involving an arresting cable. Blackburn also mentioned that he had encountered the effects of emotional stresses that were placed on the crew, especially when the ship departed for Vietnam. After discussing the medical department and injuries, Blackburn described some lighter moments such as pranks and the crossing the line ceremony. He then discussed his feelings about Intrepid and stated that he has fond memories of serving on the ship. The final account that Blackburn presented was Intrepid’s transit of the Suez Canal during the second deployment, which occurred as the Six Day War was about to begin. Laurence Blackburn then ended his interview by stating that the atmosphere aboard Intrepid was much tenser during the second deployment, however he stated that Intrepid had much fewer absentees than the larger super carriers, which he believed was a reflection of the attitude and morale aboard Intrepid.