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Oral History interview of Robert Blair. Interview conducted by Kittel, Carly at Village on the Green in Longwood, FL.


0:01 Introduction; 0:35 Family Life/Fathers Military Career; 1:33 Life in Costa Rica and Costa Rican education; 2:41 Adjustment to life in America; 3:57 Education before military service; 5:02 Enlistment during the Korean War/Family Reaction to Enlistment; 6:00 Basic Training; 6:28 Discharge and education at Temple University/ Commissioning; 7:21 Decision to Join the Army; 7:40 Officer Candidate School; 8:55 Airborne Training; 10:02 Ranger Training; 10:45 Assignment to Korea/Reconnaissance Platoon Leader; 12:25 Volunteer to join Special Forces in Vietnam; 13:04 Special Forces Training; 13:42 Using minority ethnic groups in Vietnam; 14:41 Vietnamese Language training/Challenges in Special Forces training; 15:28 Assignments following Special Forces Training; 16:26 Views on Vietnam/relations to other Southeast Asian countries visited; 17:06 First Raid into Cambodia; 18:00 Helicopter crash/ evasion from North Vietnamese; 19:40 Day to Day life during tour in Vietnam; 20:10 Leave situation during tours in Vietnam; 20:43 Combat injury during Second tour/ Helicopter crash during Medical Evacuation; 22:45 Rehabilitation following Traumatic Brain Injury/ Families' Reaction to injury and return to duty; 23:49 Day to Day Life during Rehabilitation/ personal reflection regarding Injury; 24:50 Duties as Senior Advisor in Lac Nin District; 25:49 Wife joining him in Vietnam/While on Leave for Birthday hearing about North Vietnamese offensive; 27:20 Effect of this offensive on Mr. Blair's career/ Medals awarded in Vietnam; 29:04 4th Tour in Vietnam and role in this assignment; 30:14 Injury incurred during rocket attack on base/ long term medical effects; 31:15 Mercenary work in Rhodesia/Race relations in the region; 33:54 Service in the CIA/Role in the Philippines; 36:05 Role in Costa Rica during the Cold War/ Iran Contra; 36:51 Retirement from the CIA; 37:40 Life after the CIA and military/Adjustment to Civilian life; 39:00 Injuries incurred on plane crash while employed by the CIA; 40:18 Family's adjustment to retirement; 41:15 Veteran's Groups/Medals awarded; 42:22 Moving to Central Florida and reason why; 43:45 Connections with CIA; 44:05 Remaining in Contact with a Vietnamese family; 48:05 Reflection on his military career/advice to prospective soldiers; 51:20 Reflection on service with South Vietnamese; 52:55 Conclusion.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Fort Jay (N.Y.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Korean Conflict



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division

Highest Rank

Major; MAJ

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Good conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal


Airborne and Ranger Training and qualification.


Was a part of the Reconnaissance Platoon with the 5th Cavalry; was a part of the 1st Cavalry Division on the DMZ; DMZ stands for Demilitarized Zone.

City of Birth

Fort Jay

Country of Birth

United States


Kittel, Carly

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Village on the Green, Longwood, FL.


Blair, Robert H.; Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Kittel, Carly

Length of Interview

53 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type