JOSEPH W BLICKENSTAFF JR
THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE AS A LIGHT WHEEL VEHICLE MECHANIC. YOU PASSED ON MY HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY, WHICH WAS WHEN MY MOM PASSED. SAY HI TO THEM IN HEAVEN, THEY ARE MICHAEL AND ROSE. IT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG FOR ALL OF YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOUR SACRIFICE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE. MANY OF US HAVE BEGUN OUR JOURNEY TO EASTER. AND YOU ARE ALL IN OUR PRAYERS. IT IS PALM SUNDAY, AND PASSOVER IS ALSO STARTING - GOD'S BLESSINGS ON YOU.
Final Mission of SP5 Joseph W. Blickenstaff Jr.
Remembering An American Hero
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
The Gettysburg Times Salutes :The Wall That Heals,
JOSEPH WILLIAM BLICKENSTAFF JR.
United States Army
Nearly three decades after her son's death. Doris Blickenstaff recorded the special place she held in her heart for her eldest son, born on August 11, 1949, in Baltimore, Md. "Joe was my firstborn, which is always a joy itself. I can say he was everything you could ask God for in a son..."
His family later relocated to Carroll County, Md., just south of the Pennsylvania line. Because of the rural postal delivery routes, the Blickenstaff's were assigned a Littlestown postal address within Adams County's border - an action that placed Joe among the 18 Adams County servicemen killed in Vietnam.
While his family lived near Pennsylvania, Joe stayed in Baltimore, where he finished high school in 1967 at Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Army on September 23, 1968, and took his basic training at Fort Bragg, N.C., before reporting for individual instruction at Aberdeen, Md. Shortly thereafter, he reported for duty at Fort Knox, Ky., as a vehicle mechanic for eight months before he received orders for Vietnam in October 1969. His first unit "in country" was the 40th Signal Battalion, but he left this organization after a short stint to accept an assignment with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, also known as "The Blackhorse Cavalry" - so dubbed for the unit insignia, which featured a black horse.
After a year in the field with the regiment, he voluntarily extended his tour and was assigned as an aerial reconnaissance observer with the Air Troop component of the command. On December 19, 1970, while flying in a light observation helicopter on a combat mission. Blickenstaff and his pilot were killed when enemy ground fire destroyed their aircraft.
Joe died trying to help his fellow servicemen by locating enemy troops - a sacrifice his mother mourns, yet lauds, 29 years later. "I am proud my son gave his life for his fellow brothers in the service," she said.
Joe rest in Gardens of Faith Cemetery at Overlea, Md. Later this year his remains will be removed to Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Finksburg, Md. His name is engraved on Panel 6 west, Line 131.
Above photo and info forwarded by Wayne E. Motts, military history researcher.