Marine killed in Vietnam 51 years ago receives medals at ceremony

Two Purple Hearts and other medals awarded to a Marine killed in Vietnam were posthumously presented to the fallen hero at a ceremony Saturday in Pennsylvania.

Lance Corporal Jimmy Reddington, a Scranton native, was 19 when he was killed on March 23, 1967. He had been in Vietnam all of three months.

The ceremony-- held in downtown Scranton in time for Memorial Day-- attracted a large crowd, including Marines who served with Reddington in Vietnam in Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported.

“We remember today not just the Jimmy Reddingtons, but all who gave their life with honor for this country in all wars and all conflicts,” Ernie Preate Jr., a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War and chairman of the Friends of Jimmy Reddington Memorial Committee, told the crowd, according to the paper.

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Reddington was killed when he charged an enemy position, the paper reported. His friend and fellow soldier Joe Silvestri had just been badly wounded in an ambush.

"I never wanted Jimmy to do that! I never wanted him to be that loyal to me but he was and not just to me but to the whole squad!" Silvestri told WBRE-TV Thursday.

Reddington’s parents and sister are dead so the medals were presented to the Marine Corps League in Scranton.

The Times-Tribune reported that a memorial service for Reddington with full military honors will be held Sunday at 11 a.m. at his grave in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.