HONORING THE SERVICE OF MELVIN ``CORKY'' GILLIAM; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 170
(Extensions of Remarks - October 12, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1403-E1404]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. JIM COSTA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, October 12, 2018

  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the service of Melvin 
Gilliam. Mr. Gilliam is a Korean War veteran who served the United 
States of America honorably.
  In 1952, Melvin ``Corky'' Gilliam said goodbye to his classmates at 
Chowchilla High and traveled to Fort Ord for induction into the U.S. 
  Gilliam was designated as a rifleman, and within a short time, he 
landed at Pusan, Korea. The young private was assigned to the 40th 
Infantry Division, participating in the Korean War's major battles at 
Heartbreak Ridge, the Punchbowl, and Sand Bag Castle.
  In the following months, the 40th was sent into action along the Main 
Line of Resistance (MLR) above the 38th Parallel at a place called Sand 
Bag Castle. The division engaged in heavy fighting, and Private Melvin 
Gilliam was wounded by shell fragments. While recovering at an aid 
station, it was discovered that he was only seventeen years old. He was 
sent to Japan to Camp Drake where he remained until his eighteenth 
birthday on 4 December 1952. After his return to Korea, Gilliam served 
as rifleman, carrying the Browning Automatic Rifle and worked as a 
radio operator with line units.
  In July 1953 Gilliam boarded the merchant ship General Miggs for 
return to the U.S. For the remainder of his three-year enlistment, 
Gilliam served with the 2nd Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. While 
at Fort Lewis, his regiment was selected to star in the film ``To Hell 
and Back,'' the true story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier 
of World War II. Gilliam was able to meet the soldier-actor, and was 
honored to be part of the film, acting as a German rifleman. Before 
leaving active duty, Gilliam would also serve with the 7th Armored and 
the 44th Infantry Divisions.
  Melvin Gilliam was discharged as a corporal and served five more 
years in the Army Reserve. For his service he was awarded the Purple 
Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the 
Korean Service Medal with 3 bronze stars, United Nations Service Medal, 
ROK Presidential Unit Citation, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. To 
this day he is very proud to have served his country.
  After release from active duty he returned to Chowchilla and worked 
as a dairyman and in trucking until his retirement. He and his late 
wife Loretta made their home in Chowchilla. He has four children, six 
grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
  He has been active in the community for more than a half-century as a 
member of the First Baptist Church, Life Member of Chowchilla VFW Post 
9896, Life Member of American Legion Post 148, a member of the Military 
Order of the Cooties of the U.S., Lions Club International, Free and 
Accepted Masons of Chowchilla, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry--32nd 
Degree, Tehran Shriners, the Noble Nobles Club of Tehran Temple, and E 
Clampus Vitus.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to the 
service of Melvin

[[Page E1404]]

Gilliam for his dedication to family and country.