AUSTIN, Texas (June 29, 2015) – Retired Air Force Col. Harold H. Blackshear, of San Antonio, was inducted into the Texas Military Forces Hall of Honor program June 27, 2015, at Camp Mabry, in Austin, for his outstanding military service and leadership while serving as a member of the Texas Air National Guard.
Blackshear enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in Aug. of 1949, as a T-6 trainer and F-51 Mustang Fighter mechanic. Following three years at the University of Texas, where he majored in architectural engineering studies, Blackshear received a commission in the Texas Air National Guard in 1956. Blackshear attended pilot training and finished at the top his class, accumulating 3,639 hours of flight time in all-weather fighter interceptors, tactical fighters and support aircraft.
Blackshear’s work ethic is mission oriented as evident in unmatched performance as the air technician base civil engineer and commander of the 149th Civil Engineering Squadron that maintained a C-1 combat-ready status. His base master planning proved invaluable, setting standards, cutting costs, and building state of the art facilities.
His design of a first of its kind mobile hydraulically-operated thrust frame supporting an engine test stand to provide safe change-over for use with a unique noise suppressor with either aircraft or engine, earned him the prestigious Texas Minuteman Award. His design of a highly-specialized foundation and appurtenances for the first “Hush-House,” resulted in building an additional 126 Air Force-wide. He also is credited with the design and construction of the first military non-destruct inspection laboratory that high-intensity x-rays detect imperfections in metal. Blackshear chaired a select group of base civil engineers to develop a mission directive for a civil engineer emergency force. For state employees, he developed a career progression ladder that resulted in adoption of Senate Concurrence Resolution #08 effective state-wide. Blackshear served the National Guard Bureau during three one-year terms as chief engineer of the ANG Civil Engineers Association. His final position with the TXANG was as director of plans, where he was promoted to colonel, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal. He retired from the Texas Military Forces in March of 1986.
The Hall of Honor program was established in 1980 to recognize outstanding Texas Air, Army and State Guard members. Since its inception, more than 95 members of the TXMF have been inducted. Blackshear’s picture and a narrative explaining her service will hang in the conference room of the Brig. Gen. John C.L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry in Austin.