Thomas Holt Pilkington

Lieutenant Commander
United States Navy
08 September 1941 - 31 July 1974
Morton Grove, Illinois
Panel 10E Line 121



Naval Flight Officer

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Holt Pilkington

22 Jan 2002

Tom Pilkington,
still remembered,
especially on Stefo's birthday.

From a friend,
Thomas V. Swearengen
Captain, USNR (Ret)

22 Oct 2003

A wonderful uncle.

A wonderful brother.

A wonderful son.

We miss him!

From a niece,
Leanne McBride

23 Mar 2004


He and his family remains in my prayers.

From a High School classmate (59) and a Navy friend.

Gerry Clesen, Capt. USN (Ret)
1960 Wedgewood Lane, Hebron, Ky 41048

5 Mar 2005

The bracelet was well worn by the time I took it off. While in Washington DC, a few years ago, I looked his name up on the Wall. He is not forgotten.

From one who wore his MIA bracelet,
Kelly Walters Heintz
E-mail address is not available.

21 Apr 2005

He is the uncle I never knew, but will never forget. I remain in awe of his sacrifice on behalf of his family and country. I will continue my efforts on behalf of Uncle Tom and all POW/MIAs until we have the fullest possible accounting. You are not forgotten.

From a nephew,
Bill Wood

19 Jun 2005

Dear Uncle Tom.

We all miss you very much. Please remember we will never give up searching for you. We pray every day that we can bring you home. We all love you so much.

Your loving niece,
Laurie Burns
E-mail address is not available.

07 Aug 2005

To Thomas Holt Pilkington
You are someone I have never met,
but I remember you.

I have had your name on my wrist since 1972.I have spoken with you at the Traveling Wall, I have spoken with you in Washington, D.C.

God Speed to you, come home soon.

Jim Duddleston
P. O. Box 224, Lyons, Il 60534

10 Dec 2005

Dear Thomas,

I have had your bracelet since the 1970's when I was less than a teenager. Now, a single mom of three boys (one in the Air Force), I long to tell you how very proud I am of you, your courage, and your strength.

Although I never had the chance to meet you, your memory will live on forever in my heart. I wish you eternal love and peace, Thomas. God Bless you!

Sandi Parrill

10 Jan 2006

I just found my POW/MIA bracelet from the 70's. I thought I had lost it. Lt. Pilkington was the name on this bracelet. I am so sorry that he did not return. I wore this bracelet for years hoping he would do so. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and I am sure he was a fine young man who deserved more in life. Thank you for the chance to submit addendums to this fine website.

Debra Lounsbury
Enid, Oklahoma 73701
E-mail address is not available.

05 Oct 2006

He is not forgotten.
He is with us when we present the Flags during parades or presentations.
He with us when we render honors to the fallen.
He is with us when we meet with school children to discuss courage and honor.
His wrist band is worn with honor,
every time our color guard is present,
where ever our community asks.

From an American Legion, Post 208, Arlington Heights, IL Color Guard member
who wears his MIA Bracelet.
E-mail address is not available.

27 Jun 2007

I too just found his bracelet amoung my memories. I wore this bracelet for many years, in hopes of his return.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Candi Fulop

12 Nov 2007

Uncle Tom, I never knew you - I only knew of you from stories from your sister or from looking at your picture or from from holding some of your personal items in my hands. I have found that you and I have some of the same likes, we both like to read James Bond novels and at one time we both smoked a pipe. Tom, I miss you dearly and I hope that one day they bring you home so we can finally meet each other. Until then, Tom, God bless you. Thank You for serving your country and your family the way you did and may we meet soon...

With much Love and Respect,
Your Nephew,
Jim Wood

17 Nov 2007

Tom, I have worn your bracelet for many years now. Although the war has been over for a long time and you still have not been found I can not bring myself to remove your bracelet. Words can not be found to describe the emotions the war provokes in me, but I want you to know You Did It Right. And for that I can not say "Thank You" enough times.

As long as there is war and as long as there are men and women like you, Tom, there will always be a sacrifice made, there will always be tears shed, there will always be hearts broken and there will always be "Thank You's" said. You will not be forgotten.

From someone who wears his bracelet,
Susan Burns

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 19 September 1966, LTJG Don B. Parsons, pilot, and LTJG Thomas H. Pilkington, Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), launched in F-4B BuNo 152985 as the second aircraft in a two-plane night armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. An "armed reconnaissance" mission involved flying a preplanned route over land, searching for targets (usually truck convoys) and attacking them.

As the section approached coast-in, the wingman (in this case, Parsons) normally would drop back into a 4 mile or so trail position. Shortly after crossing the coast at 4,000 feet, the flight lead saw a possible surface-to-air missile (SAM) launch approximately two miles southeast of his position and near Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. He called for defensive maneuvers back to the coast, but Parsons did not respond. Although no mid-air explosion was noticed, an A-4C flight in the area reported seeing an unexplained flash on the ground in the general area of the missing aircraft.

Search and rescue efforts were made by helicopters and fixed wing aircraft but met with no success. Since there was neither evidence that the aircrewmen died in the crash nor survived to be captured, both men were classified Missing in Action.

None of the POWs released in 1973 had any knowledge of Parsons or Pilkington. The Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death for LCDR Don Parsons on 9 Nov 73 and for LCDR Thomas Pilkington on 31 Jul 74. Their remains have not been repatriated.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Jan 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009