|Citation Recommended for PT-Boat Machinist's Mate|
Robert P. Blakeley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Price Blakeley, Route 3, is steadily recovering from being seriously gassed during a battle in the South Pacific. The circumstances are explained in a citation recommendation received by his parents. Following this, Robert was promoted to Motor Machinist's Mate First Class. He has two brothers in the service, Everett in the Quartermaster's Office of the Air Corps at Eagle Pass, Texas and Lynn in the U.S. Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, IL. The recommendation is as follows:
Motor Torpedo Boats
"1. It is my desire to recommend Blakeley for whatever citation you consider warranted by his actions on the night of August 3-4.
"2. Not only did Blakeley exhibit extreme coolness during heavy, close-range crossfire but, later on, the same night, he did knowingly put his life in great danger, rather than abandon his station in the engine room.
"3. As I was coming into dock, along side the PT 159, I got three buzzes from the engine room, which told me the starboard engine was out. As I did not consider this a serious casualty, I proceeded to dock the boat, using the port and center engines. Then I heard Blakeley calling for help.
"I immediately sent the other engineers below. Because a badly wounded officer blocked the passage down one side of the boat and a boarding party from a lighter caused confusion on the other, the two men were delayed momentarily. Blakeley called for help again.
"When the two men got to him, they found him still at his station, but unconscious from gas and frozen to the controls. The fumes were so thick that the two men were overcome almost at once.
"4. Not once, from the time he knew he was being gassed, until I cut the engines with the emergency ignition, did Blakeley grow sluggish at the controls and, not once, did he leave his seat.
"5. Not only did Blakeley's work prevent possible damage to my boat and the PT159, but it showed great determination on his part to do his duty regardless of personal danger."
WM. C. BATTLE
Written by Harold (Diz) Kronenberg
|Everett was a successful businessman, owning and operating several apartments and businesses in Eau Claire. He was also very active in Hillcrest Golf and Country Club activities for many years.|