Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Charles L Gilliland

  • Rank: Corporal (rank at time of action: Private First Class)
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 7th Infantry Regiment,
    3d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 25, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Tongmang-ni, Korea
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 two 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 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles L. Gilliland
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles L. Gilliland
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Yellville, Marion County, Arkansas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: May 24, 1933, Mountain Home, Baxter County, AR, United States
  • Died: April 25, 1951, Tongmang-ni, Korea
  • Buried: National Memorial of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (Wall of the Missing), Honolulu, HI, United States

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