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Blanchard was born in Yonkers, New York. He moved around quite a bit as an employee of General Motors.He came from a navy family. His father was a Lieutenant Commander and his brother was also in the navy. Blanchard knew he would be drafted so he enlisted in the navy. He took boot camp at Sampson, New York, then was sent to the west coast.He reported aboard an aircraft carrier, the Franklin [Annotator's Note: USS Franklin, CV-13] in Bremerton, Washington. Coincidentally, his father was the head of naval operations at Bremerton and he was able to live at home.The Franklin was a big ship. Going through the ship was an ordeal for him at first until he learned the ins and out of the ship. He was stationed in the gunnery division. His main job was in the gunnery office.He didn't think he would like sea duty but did. At the time he was a Yeoman 2nd Class.From Bremerton they steamed to Pearl Harbor then out into the Pacific. It was a very scenic ride.


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