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Howard Blazzard

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Howard C. Blazzard
File:Howard C. Blazzard.jpg
Assistant Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
June 15, 1945 – Sept 08, 1945
Personal details
Born(1919-09-08)September 8, 1919
Saint Johns, Arizona, U.S.
DiedAugust 23, 2007(2007-08-23) (aged 87)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Resting placeFort Rosecrans National Cemetery,
EducationNorthern Arizona University
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star
Purple Heart (7)
Commendation Medal
Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
* Arrowhead Device
* 5 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (Germany)
National Defense Service Medal
*Service Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
*Service Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Croix de Guerre
Belgium Fourragère
Presidential Unit Citation (3)
Gallantry Cross with Palm
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1940–1972
Unit22nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Armored Division, MAAG-Tiwan, MAAG-Vietnam
Battles/warsNormandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhienland, Vietnam Defense Campaign

Howard Chadwick Blazzard (September 8, 1919 – August 23, 2007) was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran. He is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.


Early life[edit]

Born in Saint Johns, Arizona, Blazzard attended Northern Arizona University where he played football and was part of the ROTC program.

Military career[edit]

Pre World War Two[edit]

Due to the activation of American military forces, Blazzard was called up and entered the United States Army as a Sergeant in September 1940 as one of the first to partake in OCS. In September 1941 he joined the 4th Infantry Division, 22nd Infantry Regiment.

World War Two[edit]

Early 1944, Blazzard was stationed in England preparing for the invasion of Europe. He partook in the D-Day invasion at Utah Beach, landing with the 4th Infantry Division, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Company "M". Their Battalion worked to capture the beachside fortifications in the days shortly after landing in France. On June 7, Blazzard was shot through both legs, but was still able to fight, earning him his first Purple Heart. On June 10 he took command of "L" Company when its former commander, Captain Edward Gatto, was killed.

Blazzard played an important role in the capture of Cherbourg, where his company was able to secure the Cherbourg Airfield outside Gonneville. In the days that followed he rode in a jeep with his radio operator, waving a white flag, to discuss the terms of German surrender. In the discussions Blazzard exclaimed how they were utterly surrounded. Over 900 soldiers surrendered the following morning to his about half strength company. For these actions he heard the Bronze Star and Silver Star respectively.

When the Allies entered Paris, Blazzard was part of the initial units to enter accompanied by Ernest Hemingway and Charles de Gaulle. Shortly after entering Paris, Blazzard was part of an operation crossing the Canal de la Sambre. He took the initiative and identified the only standing crossing, an abandoned rail trestle, and while under fire crossed the bridge with his unit to ultimately capture a V2 rocket base. For his actions he was awarded the Silver Star.

In Mid September 1944 as part of the first units to push through the Siegfried Line. Blazzard was operating in a regimental capacity and noticed their assault was not going as planned. He and his commander, Charles T. Lanham, pushed toward their units to motivate the assault. During the assault Blazzard was wounded by a German Panzerfaust. He crawled to a nearby tank destroyer and ordered them to fire on the bunker. Refusing to be evacuated he pushed toward the fortification, hurled several grenades inside ultimately capturing the fortification and enemy troops. For his actions he earned his 5th Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross[1]

Post War Political Career[edit]

After returning to Arizona from the war, Blazzard became the Assistant Secretary of State of Arizona. He was active with initiatives focused on helping veterans from World War Two and met with Harry Truman. During this time he managed a real estate business until he returned to the Army in 1946.

Blazzard (2nd from left) and President Truman

Return to the Army[edit]

Returning to the Army, Blazzard was a Battalion Commander with the 2nd Armored Division. In December 1946, Blazzard was assigned to be a Infantry Instructor/Advisor in Venezuela operating as a military advisor to the newly established democratic government as a result of the El Trienio Adeco. He worked in the country until June 1950.

Howard C Blazzard Citations


  1. "1st Battalion 22nd Infantry Collier's article 1944".

External links[edit]

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