May 11, 2010
War hero Charles Leon Gilliland of Baxter County enlisted in the army on his seventeenth birthday, just two months prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. Less than a year later, on April 25, 1951, Gilliland was killed in action, having stayed behind to cover the retreat of his unit, despite a serious head injury. His body was never recovered. On January 11, 1955, he was cited for “courage beyond the call of duty” and posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Today, a ship, the USNS Gilliland (T-AKR 298) honors his memory.