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Honoring Col. Erland A. Tillman

On February 8, 2012, Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic Alexandr Vondra bestowed the “60th Anniversary of the End of World War II Honorary Medal” upon Col. Erland A. Tillman. Col. Tillman received the medal for taking part in the operations to liberate Czechoslovakia from the Nazi occupation at the end of World War II.

The medal was officially presented to Col. Tillman on the occasion of his 100th birthday in Lutherville, Maryland. Military Attaché Col. Miroslav Šuhaj presented the medal on behalf of the government of the Czech Republic and, in his remarks, expressed the deep appreciation to Col Tillman for his brave actions that contributed to the liberation of the Czech Republic and other European states.

During the latter stages of World War II, Lt. Col. Tillman was the commander of the 322nd Engineer Battalion of the 97th Infantry Division which played an important role in the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket and then in liberating the western part of Czechoslovakia. The 97th Infantry Division crossed the Czech border near Cheb on April 25, 1945, moved through Western Bohemia and finally halting near Plzen as the war officially ended on May 8.

Col. Tillman continued serving in the US military after World War II receiving assignments with the Army General Staff in Washington, DC, the NATO staff in Turkey and the 8th Army Staff in Korea. He also served on the faculty of the US Army Command and General Staff College in Kansas and taught at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, DC. He retired in 1965 receiving the Legion of Merit medal.

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COL Tillman