What's in a name: Blake Fitness Center

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Teddy Barbosa
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Blake Fitness Center

Edward Aloysius Blake, Captain, USAF, 1935-1964

Capt. Edward Blake enlisted in the United States Army, Jan. 28, 1954. He was honorably discharged from the Army in June 1956 and enlisted in the Air Force as an aviation cadet.

Blake graduated from pilot training at Bryan Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and received a commission as a second lieutenant. After pilot training, he received advanced weapons training at Luke AFB, Ariz., and B-47 combat crew training at McConnell AFB, Kan.

With all advanced training completed, Blake was stationed with the 339th Bomb Squadron at Dyess AFB, Texas. While at Dyess, he showed exceptional pilot skills and outstanding leadership ability as an aircraft commander. He was then assigned to the 546th Bomb Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Ark.

On May 18, 1964, Blake joined the 1st Air Commando Squadron in Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam and participated in numerous combat missions over Southeast Asia. His dedication, professionalism, and bravery earned him many honors throughout his career.

Among Blake’s awards and decorations are the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

Blake was killed, Oct. 29, 1964 during an aerial mission at the Vung Tau Gunnery Range near Bien Hoa. His A1E aircraft developed an engine fire and before he and his fellow crewmember could parachute to safety, flames engulfed the cockpit and the aircraft was lost.

The Blake Fitness Center is located in Bldg. 1201 and offers an array of programs for a physically fit lifestyle.