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Mar 06

Remembering those who served

Ronald Reagan visits Cal Poly San Luis Obispo March 26, 1969.

Cal Poly corrected an oversight this week by remembering two alumni who died while serving the country. Their names were added this week to the plaques at Cal Poly’s War Memorial Plaza. The plaza is located between the administration building and university union with the large bronze mustang.

Army Captain Larry Dean Baldwin died March 22, 1969 when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam.

Navy Lieutenant Richard Gary Abe died in a training accident December 5, 1986.

The following is the front page story that ran March 26, 1969.

San Luis captain dies in Vietnam

Capt. Larry D. Baldwin of San Luis Obispo, was killed in action in Vietnam last Saturday.

Baldwin, 30, reportedly was operating as a forward observer when his plane was shot down.

He was born on June 14, 1938 in Hayes, Kan. He attended Mission High School in San Luis Obispo and was graduated from Palma High School in Salinas.

He was graduated from Cal Poly in 1963, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army.

Assigned to the artillery, this was his second tour of duty in Vietnam.

He received the Bronze Star on his first tour and had been cited for the Army Commendation Medal and the Air Medal on the second tour.

Baldwin’s last post before going to Vietnam was at Fort Hood, Tex., and his family recently moved back to San Luis Obispo from there.

Survivors include the widow, Constance Baldwin; two children, Rebecca Anne Baldwin,5, and Cynthia Marie Baldwin,7, of San Luis Obispo; mother Mrs. Gladys Baldwin of San Luis Obispo; father, Edward Baldwin of Santa Mara; a brother, Rex Baldwin of San Luis Obispo and a sister Mrs. Zella LaFollette of Mountain View.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Sutcliffe Mortuary in San Luis Obispo.

In other news of the day Gov. Ronald Reagan was in San Luis Obispo, greeted at the airport by friend Judge William Clark. Reagan was in town to attend a State College Trustees meeting held at Cal Poly. It was held here in part because of campus unrest in San Francisco and Southern California related to anti-war protests. While Cal Poly had demonstrations on both sides of the issue the then president Robert Kennedy had fostered a sense of flexibility on the part of the institution and an expectation of responsible actions from the students. A total of 9,280 students enrolled for spring classes in 1969.

A story at the bottom of the page documented the convoluted legal steps made trying to prevent sex education from being a part of San Luis Coastal school’s curriculum.

Oh, and PG&E’s Diablo Canyon was gathering approval for the second unit. Cost estimates placed the first unit at $188 million and the second at $183 million. These estimates were later  found to be far off target as the construction was complicated by seismic concerns and other issues.

Related posts:

  1. Remembering Major David Kingsbury
  2. Remembering Cal Poly President Robert E. Kennedy
  3. John Madden, Jim Lonborg
  4. Remembering vaquero John Baptista Romo
  5. The Free University’s “Be-In”