LeRoy Lilly (1930-2017) was born in Duluth, Minnesota, attended Cathedral High School, and graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. LeRoy joined the Marines in 1948 and held duty stations at Camp Pendelton and San Diego. LeRoy joined the 3rd Platoon in October 1950 as a rifleman and fought at Kojo the night of October 26-27. He later took part in the Chosin Campaign and also fought in the Killer and Ripper Operations, the Hoensong patrol, and saw action at Horseshoe Ridge, Punch Bowl, and other hill fights in East Korea.
(Photo below: LeRoy is 2nd from the left)
(Photo below, LeRoy is on the right)
(Photo Below: LeRoy visiting Camp Pendelton with his grandsons Jack and Michael).
His medals and awards include the Presidential unit citation, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Medal. He left Korea in September 1951 as a Corporal, and later joined a reserve unit in 1956, and was discharged with the rank of Captain in 1963.
After the war, he worked in the insurance industry in Minnesota and was a member of the American Legion, the Minnesota Chosin Few, the 1st Marine Division Association, and the Basicilia of St. Mary in the Twin Cities. LeRoy was married to his wife Colleen for 62 years and had 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Thank you LeRoy for your sacrifice that ensured freedom and prosperity for the South Korean people today.
(Photo below: LeRoy chatting with Marines at Camp Pendelton)
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Korean War - Key Events
January 12, 1950
In a speech to the National Press Club, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson outlines a U.S. Pacific defense posture that includes Japan and the Philippines but does not explicitly include Korea. In fact, he states that, “so far as the military security of other areas in the Pacific is concerned, it must be clear that no person can guarantee these areas against military attack.”
These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica