Charles R. Gildart, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel
Born July 28, 1928 – Died August 16, 2006
Charles Roland “Charlie” Gildart, Jr. was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky on 28 July 1928 and was appointed to West Point on a Presidential At Large basis.
Charlie's West Point classmates recall: “Charlie came to us right out of the heart of Kentucky, full of mountain music to amuse his classmates when everything seemed rough and spirits were low. A real muckoid for all his hundred and thirty pounds, he boxed and wrestled with the ferocity of a tiger. Always congenial, Charlie will provide a constant source of enjoyment to his friends of the future as he has to those of the past.”
During his cadet days Charlie went out for Boxing and earned Numerals in that sport. He was on the Howitzer Staff and on the Public Information Detail as well as on the Choir and Glee Club. He was a Cadet Sergeant his first class year.
On graduation Charlie went in the Artillery and after completing the Basic Artillery Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma was assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky through 1952. Charlie then went to the 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Division in Korea where he later served as Aide de Camp to the Commanding General.
On completion of this tour Charlie was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service against an enemy. In 1960 Charlie earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Then from 1960 to 1963 he was assigned to Staff & Faculty to Artillery and Guided Missile School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
In 1964 Charlie went back to school, this time to the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His next assignment was as an Advisor to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam where he served from 1964 to 1965 and was decorated with the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services; the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished heroism and valor against an enemy; the Purple Heart for wounds in action against an enemy, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
On return to stateside, Charlie was assigned to Army Combat Development Command at Fort Sill, OK where he served through most of 1968 and was awarded the Commendation Medal for distinguished service on completion of this duty assignment. He then performed an additional tour with the Combat Development Command at Ft. Belvoir, VA, earning an additional Commendation Medal.
From late 1969 through the end of 1970, Charlie was stationed in Korea, mainly as CO of the 4th Battalion, 76th Artillery. He returned to Fort Belvoir and served with the Nuclear Weapons Surety Group. This was Charlie's last military assignment and he retired in 1971 in rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After his retirement Charlie accepted a position as a design engineer with the Univac Corporation and in 1980 was appointed Product Manager. In 1983 he transferred to the Eaton Corporation and served as Program Manager until he retired in 1989.
The Gildarts made their home in Plano, Texas. The May 1991 Assembly noted, “Charley and Blanche think Dallas is great. After 10 years in MN and 7 in NY, Charley makes that statement with strong conviction. Fully retired, with son Charley also in Dallas and daughter Leslie attending law school in MN, he's very happy in his new world.” And the May 1995 Assembly reports that he and Blanche are well; she gardening in the summer and shopping in the winter, he fishing in the summer and resting in the winter.
Charlie died on August 16, 2006.
Cullum 6125 Class of November 1918 is Charles R. Gildart, Charlie's father.
On his death; the Becker Funeral Home website reported:
Charles Rolland Gildart, Jr. Age 78, Lawton – Memorial service will be at 11:00 AM Monday, August 28, 2006 at St. James Episcopal Church in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Celebrant will be the Rt. Rev. William J. Winterrowd, retired bishop of Colorado. Mr. Gildart died Friday, August 11, 2006 in Lawton. Burial with full military honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia on Tuesday, October 17, 2006.
GILDART, CHARLES R JR
LTC US ARMY
WORLD WAR II, KOREA
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/28/1928
DATE OF DEATH: 08/11/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 985
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard