Monday, April 25, 2011

In Memoriam - Corpral Charles L. Gilliland, US Army

Not many people know it, but there is a U.S. Navy ship sailing the oceans today named for a Korean War hero from Arkansas.

USNS Gilliland (T-AKR-298) is a Large, Medium Speed, Roll-On/Roll-Off Cargo vessel, or LMSR. A single LMSR can carry enough ammunition, food, water, fuel, equipment and other supplies to sustain up to 20,000 troops for 15 days.

On April 25, 1953, Corporal Charles L. Gilliland of Mountain Home, Arkansas was killed near Tongmang-ni, Korea while serving in the U.S. Army.
He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

The citation reads:

"Cpl. Gilliland, a member of Company I, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. A numerically superior hostile force launched a coordinated assault against his company perimeter, the brunt of which was directed up a defile covered by his automatic rifle. His assistant was killed by enemy fire but Cpl. Gilliland, facing the full force of the assault, poured a steady fire into the foe which stemmed the onslaught. When 2 enemy soldiers escaped his raking fire and infiltrated the sector, he leaped from his foxhole, overtook and killed them both with his pistol. Sustaining a serious head wound in this daring exploit, he refused medical attention and returned to his emplacement to continue his defense of the vital defile. His unit was ordered back to new defensive positions but Cpl. Gilliland volunteered to remain to cover the withdrawal and hold the enemy at bay. His heroic actions and indomitable devotion to duty prevented the enemy from completely overrunning his company positions. Cpl. Gilliland's incredible valor and supreme sacrifice reflect lasting glory upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service."

For more information about Corporal Gilliland, please visit the MSC Medal of Honor Recipient web page.

For more information about USNS Gilliland, please visit her home page.

For more information about the LMSR program, please visit the program information web site.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph


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