HARLAN C RILK - CPL
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- October 15, 1945
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- September 16, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Harlan C. Rilk was born on October 15, 1945, in Nanticoke, PA. His home of record is Dover, NJ. He was one of five siblings. His family moved to Dover when he was eight years old. He grew up on the South side of Dover and was one of the Thompson Avenue Boys who hung out near Brezowski's Store. He attended Dover Public Schools and graduated from Dover High School. After graduation, he worked as an offset press operator for Dairypak Corp in Morris Township. Harlan was a car enthusiast and was very proud of his Pontiac Grand Prix. In his spare time, he loved to shoot pool and cruise Blackwell Street and the Dover Shopping Center.
He enlisted into the US Marine Corps in March 1966, and attained the rank of Corporal (CPL). He completed basic training at Parris Island, SC. He was sent to Vietnam with B Company, 4th Platoon, 3rd Regiment, 1st Marine Division
On September 16, 1967, Rilk was driving a vehicle and ended up in a minefield. One of the vehicle tracks detonated a land mine, and left the vehicle unmovable. While Rilk volunteered to help find a way out of the minefield, another land mine was detonated and Rilk was mortally wounded. At the time, he was part of Operation "Dragon Fire" in the Batangan Peninsula.
He is buried in Locust Hill Cemetery in Dover, NJ.
Rilk was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Rilk, his sister, Sharon and three brothers, Carl, John and Private Albert Rilk, also a Marine.
Sources: Pete Cullen (friend), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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