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LTC Douglas Faust “Doug” Blackledge

LTC Douglas Faust “Doug” Blackledge

Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
Death Jan 2016 (aged 45)
Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida, USA
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot Section 23a, Columbarium Wall #4, Site C27
Memorial ID 158412733 · View Source
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Douglas Faust Blackledge was gifted with great charm, intellect, sense of humor and athletic ability. As an Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot operating under call sign “Drippy,” he was proud to serve his country as a true Combat Search and Rescue Warrior. He had retired from the Air Force on 1 Sept 2014 and was using his GI Bill to work toward a Masters Degree in Finance.

Doug died at home in Melbourne, Florida in January 2016 at age 45. He was born at the United States Air Force Academy Hospital on 14 July 1970, the first child of Lt Col Michael A. Blackledge, USAF, and Helen Margaret Faust of Silver City, NM. The family moved to Albuquerque in July 1979 where Doug attended Collet Park Elementary School and Grant Middle School, and graduated in the top 15 of his 1988 class at Manzano High School. At Manzano, he was on the varsity wrestling team and varsity boys soccer, which won the New Mexico State Championship his senior season, November 1987.

Doug entered the US Air Force Academy in July 1988 where he earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and graduated with the Class of 1992. During Survivor Training, he met Robin Guill, Class of 1991, who he married during his initial assignment to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, OK. They were married for almost 18 years.

Doug attended Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1995 at Vance AFB, OK, and then shifted over to rotary aircraft training at Ft. Rucker, GA. There he excelled, earning three of the five graduation honors, including the coveted Order of the Daedalians (described as “Best of the Best”), and used his skills in three flying assignments that included deployments to Kuwait, Republic of Korea, and the Philippines as well as his favorite job as an instructor pilot in the 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, NM. Doug spent 11 of his 22 years of service overseas in Okinawa, Japan, and Germany. His final assignment was in astronaut rescue and recovery in support of the human spaceflight program within Detachment 3, 45th Operations Group, Patrick AFB, FL.

Doug met Suzanne Stay of Melbourne on-line in Spring 2013 and they married 30 Oct 2013. It was not an ideal union, and they spent much of 2015 negotiating divorce. A preliminary marital settlement was signed, however the divorce was not finalized prior to Doug's death. He remained in Florida until his death.

Doug was predeceased by his mother Helen Margaret Faust Blackledge in March 2006. He will be greatly missed by his father Michael (Bonnie), brother David (Tricia), niece Charlene and nephew Ian, and numerous family and friends.

Doug was interred on 4 March 2016 with Military Funeral Honors at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. His mother Helen was interred there in Columbarium Wall #1 in March 2006. A memorial web page for Doug is at

In September 2016, Manzano High School in Albuquerque established a Douglas Faust Blackledge Memorial Fund (Project 405) to assist student athletes under the wrestling and boys soccer programs. Details can be found at Doug's Memorial Web Page. Each year beginning in 2016, the programs present the Douglas F. Blackledge Award to the outstanding individual in their sport.

Family Members


1970 2016

Gravesite Details The marker lists Doug's awards of valor as documented on his DD214, to include Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
  • Created by: Michael Blackledge
  • Added: 21 Feb 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 158412733
  • Michael Blackledge
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Douglas Faust “Doug” Blackledge (14 Jul 1970–Jan 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 158412733, citing Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Michael Blackledge (contributor 47408643) .