Legends: Bill Blankenship 1929-2016

by
posted on August 3, 2016
billhero.jpg
Competitive shooting legend SGM Bill Blankenship (USA Ret.) passed away on Monday, August 1. Bill was one of the best competitors to ever grace the firing line at Camp Perry. He was 86 years old.

null
Bill Blankenship served as Chairman of the Bianchi Cup Protest Committee in 2012.
One of the most iconic shooters of all time, Blankenship won the NRA National Pistol Championship six times, winning five consecutively. For nearly 40 years, his record six wins was unmatched by any other. In 2003, he had the honor of firing the first shot at Camp Perry, kicking off the National Matches. 

His shooting career started with the Army in 1953, learning rifle and pistol at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He was a member of the All Army and Rifle Pistol Squads until retiring from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 1970. Additionally, he was a gold medalist in the 1966 World Games.

Bill was also heavily involved in the formation of the Bianchi Cup, from his time working with one of the tournament's original sponsorsColt. Blankenship said of these times, "Ray [Chapman] and I like to have a little competition, then throw a big BBQ. We had a lot of fun."

The competitive shooting community took to Facebook and other social media sites to express their grief.

"That is a huge loss to the shooting community. Besides a great shooter, a real class act. RIP Bill."

"Met Bill a few times working with NRA. What a legend! I read over and over the article(s) he wrote for the Gil Hebard book 'Pistol Shooters Treasury'. RIP Bill."

"First class guy ... he pinned my Distinguished Pistol badge on me at [Camp] Perry. RIP."

William Bert Blankenship Jr.
December 17, 1929 - August 1, 2016

Latest

2024Usahighschoolclaytarget 2
2024Usahighschoolclaytarget 2

Champions Crowned At 2024 USA High School Clay Target League National Championship

Brody Lenington topped the 2024 USA High School Clay Target League National Championship leaderboard to win the overall title, while Madelyn Coats picked up the women’s individual title.

Paris 2024: U.S. Paralympic Shooting Team Roster

Six talented rifle and pistol athletes will represent the red, white and blue at the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Winchester Celebrates 25 Years As Ammunition Provider To Kids & Clays Foundation

For 25 years, Winchester has stood strong as a source of ammo for Kids & Clays shooting tournaments that raise funds to support Ronald McDonald House.

Paris 2024 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team Preview

While the U.S. shooting team has a few prior medalists, the roster for the Paris 2024 Games also includes several shooters making their Olympic debut in France this month.

What’s In Your Range Bag, James Hall?

Learn what top men’s air pistol shooter James Hall keeps in his range bag.

U.S. Paralympic Shooting Team Secures Nine Medals At WSPS Arequipa Grand Prix

At the 2024 WSPS Arequipa Grand Prix, U.S. Paralympic shooters picked up nine medals, including three golds.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.