HAROLD J DILLARD - LCPL
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- November 23, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- May 25, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Harold J. Dillard was born on November 23, 1946. His home of record is Hackensack, NJ. Harold lost his mother in 1954, which resulted in foster care for a few years with his two brothers and sisters. The family did end up going to live with his aunt and uncle in Hackensack. He was known as "Dukie" to his friends at Hackensack High School and graduated in 1965. He was a star athlete competing strongly in football, basketball and track. He received an honorable mention on the 1965 All-County Track Team, where he was noted for his strengths in the high jump. He went on to receive the annual coach's award for his overall performance in all of his sports. His high school yearbook reads:
"Duke" dislikes all work, including homework... likes the sports program at H.H.S..."Say what!"...his license is important to him...hopes to join the Air Force or become an electrician. Football, Basketball, Track
Dillard entered the US Marine Corps in February 1966 and attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL). He was stationed in Okinawa after completing his first tour of duty in Vietnam. In May 1967, he returned to Vietnam for a second tour of duty.
Dillard was killed in action on May 25, 1967, as part of the Battle of Quang Tri Province, near the Demilitarized Zone. Services were held at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Mount Olive, NJ.
In the months prior to his death, Dillard was awarded the Medal of Gallantry for Valorous Action during Operation Hastings. His unit accounted for more than 300 of the 900 enemies killed during the 18th day of operations. In addition, he was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm for combat action near the Demilitarized Zone in 1966.
The Court Street Bridge in Hackensack is named in memory of Harold J. Dillard.
Sources: Ray Graglia (friend), Ronald Dehardt (friend), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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