— Blackburn describing himself at the beginning of Friends In High Places
Clyde Blackburn is an American character featured in the campaign of Battlefield 1. Posing as George Rackham, a pilot of a Bristol F2.B for the Royal Flying Corps, he is the protagonist of the chapter Friends In High Places.
Blackburn is a self-described gambler and an experienced pilot, but also a con man who will do anything to get what he wants. He is first seen in the chapter playing a game of cards with George Rackham, a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, at an airfield in France. He convinces Rackham to bet his plane, a Bristol F2.B, for the winner to take. However, Blackburn ends up losing the game to Rackham, with the latter having a four-of-a-kind in his hand compared to a pair in the former's. Despite that, Blackburn had Rackham's left leg tied to his chair beforehand, giving him the opportunity to take the plane anyway after knocking him down and leaving him behind.
Posing as Rackham, Blackburn introduces himself to Wilson, the gunner of the plane. Wilson, being unaware of who the real George Rackham is, falls for Blackburn's fake identity as he gets onto the plane and takes off with it. Early on, he tries to make small talk with Wilson during the flight, but gets told to focus on flight testing the plane as a rebuttal instead. After testing the plane's flight and attack capabilities by following a friendly fighter and firing at air and ground targets, he and Wilson encounter a squad of German planes coming to attack them. He is able to take down most of the planes but one, which he decides to go after by following it.
While doing so, he and Wilson accidentally discover a German stockpile of munitions at a nearby fortress, in which the latter takes photos of while under enemy fire. The duo are able to make it back to friendly territory afterwards. When they arrive at a nearby HQ, Wilson expresses hesitation at showing the photos to their commanding officer since they were never meant to fly over there. Blackburn, however, convinces him to go on with it, while promising him that he'll get Wilson "back in one piece." Blackburn then eavesdrops on the conversation outside the officer's office between him and Wilson, with the officer saying that Blackburn is "one hell of a pilot" (which he repeats to himself in unison).
Blackburn, alongside Wilson, participate in an escorting mission with the bombers assigned to destroy the stockpile at the fortress. Throughout the mission, he destroys the Germans' barrage blimps, AA trucks, and any fighter planes attacking the bombers. In the end, the bombers succeed in destroying the fortress and all the munitions inside. However, the tail of Blackburn's plane gets damaged by one of the resulting explosions shortly afterwards, causing the plane to crash and leaving him and Wilson stranded behind enemy lines.
Fall From Grace
A few hours later, Blackburn wakes up hanging from a tree by his parachute after jumping off the plane. He gets back onto his feet, and moves on to get back to friendly territory after convincing himself that Wilson died when the plane crashed. Sneaking through enemy patrols, he remarks how he had practice moving quietly "out the back of bars [and] bedroom windows" before the war. On the way, he passes by the crash site of the plane, with Wilson alive but injured from getting impaled by a piece of the plane. Blackburn, unsure of what to do, tries to leave Wilson behind but the latter begs him to come back, reminding him of the promise he made to him back at HQ. He then gets the idea to put Wilson out of his misery by using a wood plank to smash his head, but changes his mind after Wilson mentions that he figured out his real identity. He picks Wilson up and carries him to friendly territory afterwards. He remarks how he decided to save Wilson because of how he called him "a no good, lying son-of-a-bitch", which he understands as being a fact about himself that he hates more than he could tell anyone.
Forte Et Fidele
While resting at a nearby base camp, Blackburn gets approached by Rackham, who he orders to be put under court martial for impersonating him. He then gets sent to London, England, where he, Rackham, and Wilson (who healed from his injuries by then) are aboard a Dreadnought on the River Thames. Blackburn, handcuffed to a railing, gets approached by Wilson, who tells him that he's willing to defend him in court. Just as he refuses the offer, a squadron of German planes fly over the dreadnought. He asks Rackham, who comes out on deck, to be released but is denied. Shortly afterwards, a strafing run from a German fighter kills Rackham and a British soldier, giving Wilson the opportunity to free Blackburn and to get onto another Bristol F2.B in order to fight the planes up in the sky.
After taking down some of the fighter planes above the city, multiple German zeppelins arrive to bomb the city. After taking a few of them down, Blackburn's plane gets damaged by a flak gun on top of one of the zeppelins, forcing him to land on the same one. He then gets the idea to take over the flak gun in order to shoot down a few more of the zeppelins. After traversing on the exterior of the damaged zeppelin, Blackburn reaches the flak gun and kills the operator before using it against the Germans. While in the middle of using it, he gets ambushed by a lone German who tries to punch him. However, Wilson arrives in time to distract the German, giving Blackburn more time to shoot down any other zeppelin flying in the air. Eventually, the zeppelin he is on starts to go down, prompting him, Wilson, and the German to jump off it and into the river below.
Afterwards, only Blackburn is seen climbing out of the river. He then narrates about how he saved Wilson, and how in turn he "saved himself." He also points out that there are other versions to his story, such as how he was a "rogue pilot", how he killed Wilson, how he killed dozens of Germans while getting back to friendly territory, and that he escaped court martial in the "chaos of an air raid." Blackburn, now revealed to be an unreliable narrator, finally tells the player to believe none of that, breaking the fourth wall and saying that he would not be lying in the first place before asking "Would I?", ending his story.
- He shares his last name with another playable character, Henry Blackburn, who finds his own story under suspicion during the events of Battlefield 3.