Freedom Fighters: George Blackburn - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

3/21/08- Lindale

Freedom Fighters: George Blackburn

When George Blackburn volunteered for "hazardous duty" in the Navy during World War Two, he didn't realize he was voluntering to beome one of only 3,000 Original Navy Frogmen to pave the way for victory in the Pacific. The group was formed after underwater traps and coral reefs took a massive number of American lives in the battle for Tarawa.

Armed only with knives, pistols, facemasks and fins, and carrying packs of explosives on their backs, the underwater demolition teams destroyed underwater obstacles blocking American landings.

In March of 1945, Blackburn was dropped off the coast of the island of Okinowa to clear the path for the Allied invasion on April 1st. It was only after the war ended that Blackburn's family knew he pas a part of the elite, highly secretive original Navy Frogmen.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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