Charles “Chip” Harder Pilkington Jr. (Sept. 29, 1946 - May 14, 1969) was from Knoxville, TN and was the husband of Emily J. Pilkington, the son of Charles H. Pilkington Sr. and Dorothy B. Pilkington. Pilkington was an alumni of Bearden High School and attended the University of Tennessee from 1964 to 1968. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps when he graduated in 1968. He was selected for the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia and finished as a 2nd Lieutenant.
2nd Lieutenant Pilkington was assigned as the platoon commander of Company D, 1st Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. His company was deployed to Vietnam at the start of 1969 and operated in the Quang Nam region. In May of 1969, Pilkington’s Regiment was engaged in the Phu Lac area known as “Liberty Bridge” against hostile forces. Company D’s Command Post was attacked directly on May 16th by small arms fire and B-40 RPGs. 2nd Lieutenant Pilkington was one of six marines wounded during the attack and requiring medical evacuation. He died as a result of wounds sustained from a hostile rocket.
Charles Pilkington Jr. was returned home and is buried at Highland Memorial Cemetery in Knoxville. He is also memorialized by the “2nd Lt. Charles H. “Chip” Pilkington Jr. USMC Memorial Bridge” dedicated in 2018.
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