CARL BLAHA was born in Camden, New Jersey on January 27, 1912 to Anton and Barbara
Blaha. His father who was born in what was then Austria-Hungary in 1895,
worked as an advertising designer and artist. The Blaha family
moved to 1044 Lois Avenue in Camden's Cramer
Hill section shortly before June of 1910, when the Census was
enumerated. The Blaha family, which included older brother Frank and younger
brother Herbert, lived at 1044
as late as 1933.
By 1933 Elmer C. Blaha had enlisted in the United States Army. He was serving with the 62nd Coast Artillery regiment at Fort Totten on Governors Island in New York Harbor when it was announced in February of that year that he was one of eight enlisted men who had the opportunity to test for admission to West Point. He apparently passed the test, and eventually rose to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force. Among his commands were the 20th Troop Carrier Squadron and the 40th Airlift Squadron, both in 1949.
Elmer C. Blaha passed away in Bexar County TX on May 11, 1968, and was buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Two of his four children followed him in military service. Colonel William Carl Blaha, USMC (Ret.) graduated from the Naval Academy, and Colonel John Elmer Blaha USAF (Ret.) graduated from the Air Force Academy. After flying 361 combat missions in Vietnam John Blaha later became an astronaut, and in five missions logged 161 days in space.
Elmer Blaha's younger brother, Herbert Blaha, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1947. Herbert went into the Marine Corps and retired in 1979 at the rank of Brigadier General.
Camden Courier-Post - February 6, 1933
CAMDEN SOLDIER GIVEN CHANCE AT WEST POINT
Washington, Feb. 5. - Elmer C. Blaha, 1044 Lois avenue, Camden, N. J., an enlisted man in the U. S. Army, will be given an opportunity March 7 to qualify for admission to the Military Academy at West Point. If he attains a satisfactory grade he will be enrolled in the class forming July 1. Blaha is one of eight soldiers selected from the second corps area to take the examination.
Camden Courier-Post - February 11, 1933
CAMDEN ARTILLERYMAN TO TRY FOR WEST POINT
New York, Feb. 10.-Private Elmer C. Blaha, a former resident of 1044 Lois avenue, Camden, N.J, now stationed at Fort Totten, with the 62nd Coast Artillery, has been designated to take the March 7, 1933, entrance , examination for admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, according to War Department orders received today at the headquarters of the Second Corps Area on Governor's Island.
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