The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Ralph W. Blackerby, who died in the service of his country on May 23rd, 1967 in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Friendly Fire. At the time of his death Ralph was 20 years of age. He was from Muncie, Indiana. Ralph is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 20E, Line 89.
The decorations earned by PFC Ralph W. Blackerby include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Ralph is buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Marion, IN
Ralph was also wounded on January 15 1967. He earned a second award of Silver Star w/OLC
Read the profile on Ralph Blackerby, list him being killed by friendly fire. It was the battle of Dien Truong. A Co had been pinned down in an open rice field, B co did a combat assault on a hill overlooking the village. I had 4.2. 105mm, and perhaps 8 inch arty going into it, I had the FAC put in 4 air strikes before dark. Recall a hook came in and dropped a hook load of LAWs to shoot into the village. A co got out of the rice field when two napalms fell short. That night we had Puff rakeing the village, we had the front line marked with trip flares but I am sure puff could not see it that well. It sounded like a buzz saw whem we were hit. Ralph imediately put a field dressing on one of the guys hit in the arm, Ralph was saying you will be OK, calmed him down. So one said "Are you hit Ralph, OK?" Ralph felt his chest and said words to the effect" God I am hit too" he then died, just like that. He was a brave Cacti, looking out for his cacti brother first. To me , he showed all of us what a true man was. I am told if you say a man's name, he will never be forgotten so Ralph, we all remember you.
Don Keith, FO ,B co -- Bartlett TN USA -- 01/29/2007