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Laurence H. Blackburn, Jr. Oral History

Identifier: OHP 008

Scope and Contents

Laurence Blackburn served as the senior medical officer aboard Intrepid during the ship’s first and second deployments to Vietnam, from 1965 to 1967. 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 compliment 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, which directly affected him, 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.


  • July 12, 2013



20 Sheets

6 Files

Language of Materials



David Dzendzel
October 30, 2015
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Online Archives Repository

One Intrepid Square
W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue
New York NY 10036-4103 United States