Hall of Honor
D. Blackwell held every rank from private to brigadier general during 34
years of military service.
He enlisted in Company A, 11th Quartermaster Regiment, Texas National
Guard on October 18, 1938. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and
mobilized with the 36th Infantry Division in 1940. He served in the
European Theater of Operations and was separated from the Army in 1946
at the rank of major.
General George S. Patton personally presented Brigadier General
Blackwell the Soldiers Medal for bravery for saving the life of a fellow
soldier while in Europe.
After rejoining the Texas National Guard in May 1948, he served in a
variety of responsible command positions, reaching the rank of brigadier
general, line, as the assistant division commander. Upon reorganization
of the Texas Guard in January 1968, General Blackwell became the
commanding general of the 71st Airborne Brigade.
General Blackwell became one of the first officers of the 71st Airborne
Brigade to qualify as a paratrooper. He qualified for his silver wings
by completing the airborne course in May 1968, at the age of 50. Later
he completed the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster School and went on
to achieve senior parachutist status.
Among General Blackwell's decorations are the Soldiers Medal, the Legion
of Merit and the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal.
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