Highest Combat decorated Noncommissioned of WWII
Months after V.E. Day, Lt. Col. Louis K. Hennighausen, Jr., commander of the 179th Infantry Regiment, submitted an August 3, 1945 recommendation that Chilson receive the Medal of Honor. The War Department considered the matter in 1946, but a majority of the Board disapproved the Medal of Honor. “The recommendation,” wrote the Board, “reveals a highly commendable performance as a platoon leader, but does not clearly establish incontestable proof of conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.” As a result of the Board’s August 1946 decision, the European Theater recommendation for a Medal of Honor was returned to the command, which then awarded the three Distinguished Service Crosses, a second Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and second Purple Heart–all of which Chilson received from Truman.
On May 24, 1961, he was seriously injured in a transport plane crash at McChord Air Force Base in Washington. He was one of only four people to survive. The crash killed 24 service members.
Selected Awards and Decorations:
Chilson meets Audie Murphy at the Ft Hood NCO Academy
The Photo in question was allegedly taken at Fort Hood, Texas on June 6th, 1952 when Audie made a Speech to the Fort Hood NCO Academy as a National Guardsman and Chilson was an active duty Instructor at the Academy.
Biography and history of Llewellyn Cilson, by the 45th Infantry