Veterans' Memorial Project

George Newton (Pete) Storey Blackford

Oak Park, IL

World War II

College: Commerce & Business Administration

Graduation Year: Attended 1939

Service Branch: Air Force

Rank: First Lieutenant

Date of Death: 07/16/1943

Affiliations: Psi Upsilon

Lt. Blackford served with the 429th Bomber Squadron, 2nd Bomber Group, Heavy. On July 16, 1943, Lt. Blackford (pilot) and his crew loaded their plane at Ain M’Lalia, Algeria, with twelve 500 pound bombs for a mission to bomb San Giovanni, Italy. When his plane took off in formation, the aircraft experienced engine trouble and Lt. Blackford steered the plane away from the base. The plane went down in the desert, exploding eleven of the bombs and killing the crew. Lt. Blackford is buried at North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia, Plot I Row 11 Grave 10. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.

-information taken from University records and documentation by Blackford’s daughter, Bonnie Crane Hellums, who was one month old at the time of her father’s death

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