Llewellyn Chilson was born on April 1, 1920, in Dayton, Ohio. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 28, 1942, and completed basic training in June 1942. Cpl Chilson served with the 112th Infantry Regiment at Camp Livingston, Louisiana and at Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, from June 1942 to May 1943, and then transferred to the 179th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. He served with the 179th in North Africa from June to July 1943, during the Invasion of Sicily in July 1943, at the landing in Salerno in September 1943, at the landing in Anzio in January 1944, during the Invasion of Southern France in August 1944, and into Germany in March 1945. Sgt Chilson returned to the United States in June 1945, and received an honorable discharge on June 30, 1946. He reenlisted in the Army on November 17, 1947, and served as an Army Recruiter until March 1950. SFC Chilson next served as a Light Weapons Infantry Leader with the 41st and 42nd Armored Infantry Battalions at Fort Hood, Texas, from March 1950 to February 1951, and then as an ROTC instructor in Fort Worth, Texas, from February to September 1951. His next assignment was with Company B, 701st Armored Infantry Battalion at Fort Hood from September 1951 to January 1952, followed by service as a 1st Sergeant with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood from January to October 1952. MSG Chilson served as an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Crewman and Section Leader with B Battery, 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion in West Germany from November 1952 to December 1954, and then as a Section Leader with B Battery, 91st AAA Battalion in West Germany from December 1954 to October 1955. His next assignment was as a Section Leader with A Battery, 195th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Hood from December 1955 to January 1956, and then with A Battery, 451st AAA Battalion at March AFB, California, from March 1956 to April 1957. He then deployed to West Germany where he again served as a Section Leader with A Battery, 91st AAA Battalion from May 1957 to May 1958, and then with Headquarters Battery, 94th AAA Battalion from May to June 1958. MSG Chilson next served as an instructor with the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from July 1958 to September 1960, followed by service as a Section Leader with B Battery, 3rd Observation Battalion of the 26th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill from September 1960 to June 1961. He served with B Company, U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Lewis, Washington, from June 1961 to August 1962, and then as an Operations Sergeant and Section Leader with the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School at Fort Sill from September 1962 until his retirement from the Army on July 1, 1964. While serving at Fort Sill in 1961, MSG Chilson was one of only four survivors (out of 22 passengers and crew on board) of the crash of an Air Force C-124 Globemaster II that crashed on takeoff from McChord AFB, Washington, on May 24, 1961. Llewellyn Chilson died on October 2, 1981, and was buried at the Tacoma's Mountain View Memorial Park in Tacoma, Washington.
His 3rd Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in action, as Platoon Sergeant, Company G., 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, on 26 March 1945. During the crossing of the Rhine River near Gernsheim, Germany, Technical Sergeant Chilson distinguished himself by his coolness, bravery, and aggressiveness. When the leader of the Second Platoon, the assault platoon of the company, was wounded, he, by his own initiative, assumed command and quickly organized the platoon into a compact, efficient assault force and with vigor and keen judgement led his force along the river bank. Despite heavy and intense enemy fire of all types and all calibers, he, because of his exceptional self-sacrifice and disregard of his personal safety, performed outstandingly intrepid actions, resulting in the death of eleven enemy soldiers and in the capture of a total of two hundred and twenty-five prisoners. In addition, Technical Sergeant Chilson personally destroyed an ammunition vehicle and two heavy machine guns and made possible the capture of two other heavy machine guns and the destruction of three enemy flak vehicles. The brilliant and exemplary leadership and superior devotion to duty which characterized his accomplishments, contributed directly to the company's combat success and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States.