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In Memoriam - Laurence Blackburn

May 01, 2020

In Memoriam - Laurence Blackburn

AsMA Staff were saddened to hear of the passing of Laurence H. Blackburn, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., AsMA Associate Fellow, in late April.

   Born in Boston, MA, he graduated Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. He earned his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in 1955 and was commissioned in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy after an internship at Ohio State University Medical Center. He was assigned to NAAS Correy Field, Pensacola, FL, and attended Flight Surgeon School at the Navy School of Aviation Medicine, graduating in 1957. He served at NAAS Port Isabel, TX, until June 1959, when he was discharged. After a 6-month residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, he re-enlisted in the Navy and became Medical Officer at the Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, CA. He was also assigned to NASA as a medical monitor for the Project Mercury manned spaceflights from 1961–1964. He then attended the 3-year Aerospace Medicine residency program at the Navy School of Aviation Medicine. After completing a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health, he became Board Certified in Aerospace Medicine in 1968.
   Dr. Blackburn was Senior Medical Officer aboard the USS Intrepid during its first two Vietnam deployments and then was assigned as Senior Medical Officer at NAS Key West, FL, from 1967–1969. From 1971–1977, he served as Director of the Crew Systems Department at the Naval Air Development Center, Warminster, PA. He then became Chief of the Occupational and Environmental Health Service at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA, retiring as a Captain in 1978. He then became Assistant to the Corporate Medical Director of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem, PA, and later Director of Occupational Medicine for Stewart-Todd Associates, King of Prussia, PA. In 1987, he became Medical Consultant to Bethlehem Steel Corporation headquarters, retiring in 1991.
   Dr. Blackburn was a member of several professional and hiking organizations, including the Aerospace Medical Association, and formerly served on the Board of Directors of the USS Intrepid Former Crewmembers Association, where he was chosen to serve as Chairman of its Chapter Representatives. He volunteered at the USO Lounge at the Philadelphia Airport for several years and was a volunteer at the Doylestown Hospital. He held a Navy Commendation Medal.
   An online obituary can be found at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theintell/obituary.aspx?n=laurence-henry-blackburn&pid=196077485.