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Henry Pilger '70

Date of birth: January 8, 1948

Date of death: September 23, 1972

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1970 Lucky Bag:

1970 Pilger LB.jpg

HENRY NICHOLAS PILGER

North Syracuse, New York

"Captain Easy" came to the infamous trade school after an illustrious academic and athletic career in North Syracuse, New York. He quickly adjusted to the new routine and began making successful assaults on the Academic Departments and athletic fields. The latter occasionally resulted in short sabbaticals for recuperation. But, he made the best of a poor situation by calling in support from his little black book. "Pilge" constantly expanded his activities and could be found studying the TV Guide or doing research in many D. C. establishments. Mathematics was Rick's forte, and he spent much time giving E. I. to his puzzled friends. His decision for Marine green with wings surprised no one, and he will be a welcome addition to any command.


He was also a member of the 12th Company staff (fall).

1970 Pilger LB.jpg

HENRY NICHOLAS PILGER

North Syracuse, New York

"Captain Easy" came to the infamous trade school after an illustrious academic and athletic career in North Syracuse, New York. He quickly adjusted to the new routine and began making successful assaults on the Academic Departments and athletic fields. The latter occasionally resulted in short sabbaticals for recuperation. But, he made the best of a poor situation by calling in support from his little black book. "Pilge" constantly expanded his activities and could be found studying the TV Guide or doing research in many D. C. establishments. Mathematics was Rick's forte, and he spent much time giving E. I. to his puzzled friends. His decision for Marine green with wings surprised no one, and he will be a welcome addition to any command.


He was also a member of the 12th Company staff (fall).

Obituary

From Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:

Born in San Diego, “Rick” Pilger came to Annapolis after an illustrious athletic and academic career in North Syracuse, NY and quickly established himself as one of the best-liked guys in the Company. Tough both physically and mentally, he was a standout in math and in all sports, especially soccer. He was a truly gifted leader and was Company Commander First Class Year, an honor he truly deserved. Rick was always upbeat, exuding “perpetual cheerfulness” in the words of one classmate, and had a great sense of humor with a distinctive laugh and voice that had a bit of a Great Lakes twang. One classmate remembers visiting Rick in the hospital after he’d broken his jaw playing soccer and seeing Rick with his jaw wired shut playing chess with another Mid who also had his jaw wired shut, the two of them arguing over something and waving scissors, each threatening to cut the other guy’s wires. Even the nurses laughed at the absurdity of it. Rick was the kind of guy everybody liked being around, with an easy going charisma that made you want to follow him. He had a beautiful powder blue TR-6 First Class Year and, inspired by Major Kostesky, went Marine Air, receiving his wings in April of 1972. He married Debbie Wadsworth in June 1970 and they had a daughter, Abigail.

1st Lieutenant Henry N. “Rick” Pilger tragically died in the service of his country of injuries from a helicopter crash during a NATO exercise on Grytoga Island, Troms County, Norway, on September 23, 1972, while attached to Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461, Det. “S.” He was the co-pilot.

Rick’s death was a shock to his classmates and a reminder of the high cost of freedom. While his star shone brightly for too short a time, all who knew him know that had he been granted a full life there was no upper limit to what his accomplishments might have been. He is greatly missed.


Class of 1970

Henry is one of 20 members of the Class of 1970 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.