Bob Blackard joined the 79th Battalion, Headquarters Company in San Francisco in November
1944 as a replacement and served with the Battalion during their second tour on the island
of Saipan and their third tour in the invasion of Okinawa. Bob was tragically killed
on Okinawa on July 4, 1945 by an exploding flare while standing guard duty and is at rest
in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois. Veterans of the 79th held a gravesite
Memorial Ceremony and would like to find the relatives of Bob Blackard. To contact
Veterans of the 79th Battalion, please email JWinter588@AOL.com.
This memorial tribute is given to 79th
Battalion Seabee Bob Blackard for the service and sacrifice which he gave in World War II.
(Original hymn by Rev. Whiting was first published in
Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
Lord, stand beside the men who build
And give them courage, strength, and skill.
O grant them peace of heart and mind,
And comfort loved ones left behind.
Lord, hear our prayer for all Seabees,
Where'er they be on land or sea.
--R.J. Dietrich, 1960