James H. Gilliam Sr., the decorated soldier, voice for peace and racial equality in Wilmington has died early Thursday. He was 95.
He was preceded in death by wife Louise Hayley Gilliam and son James J. Gilliam Jr. Gilliam is survived by daughter Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, three grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
The former Buffalo Soldier Jim Gilliam received (6) medals for his military service during World War II and the Korean War on Friday, August 29, 2014, in Hockessin, Delaware.
THE LIFE OF JAMES H. GILLIAM SR. (Source The news Journal)
Born: Aug. 6, 1920, Baltimore
Education: Morgan State College, bachelor’s degree (sociology), Baltimore; Howard University, master’s degree (social work), Washington, D.C.
Career: Maryland State Department of Health; Housing Authority of Baltimore City; administrator, Family Courts of Delaware; founder and first executive director, Greater Wilmington Housing Authority; vice president for management and community relations, Leon Weiner & Assoc.
1944-48: Served with the 370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division “Buffalo Soldiers,” an African-American division. Combat veteran of the North Apennines and Po Valley campaigns on the Italian front. Earned Bronze Star medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Honorable Service Lapel Button, WWII
1950: Recalled to active duty as captain, U.S. Army 147th Quartermaster Truck Company, during Korean War. Stationed in Germany, earned Army of Occupation Medal with German Clasp
1954: Becomes psychiatric case work supervisor for Maryland State Department of Health
1955: Becomes management aide, Housing Authority of Baltimore
1963: Becomes chief of renewal operations for Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Agency
1965: Moves to Wilmington, becomes director of neighborhood and housing services for the Greater Wilmington Development Council
1969: Named Delaware’s social worker of the year
1970: Joins Leon Weiner & Assoc. as vice president
1971: Accepts Gov. Russell Peterson’s request to overhaul Delaware Family Court, takes one-year leave from Weiner & Assoc.
1974: Becomes first director of New Castle County Department of Community Development and Housing
1982: Awarded Order of the First State by Gov. Pete du Pont, Distinguished Delawarean Award
1985: National Ambassador Award, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials; Achievers Award for Significant Contributions in Government (Brandywine Professional Association)
1990: Retires from county post; receives Kiwanis Club of Wilmington’s J. Caleb Boggs Community Service Award
1994: Winner of Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Josiah Marvel Cup for community service
1999: Founds the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, the 115th affiliate of the National Urban League
Aug. 29, 2014: Receives medals and other citations from U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, including: two Bronze Stars; the American Campaign Medal; the Combat Infantryman Badge; the National Defense Service Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp; the World War II Victory Medal; the Honorable Service Lapel Button, WWII
Died: Sept. 10, 2015
Partial list of community service roles: President, National Urban League Development Foundation; board president, Children’s Bureau of Delaware; member, Delaware Ethics Commission; board member, Medical Center of Delaware; president and chairman of the board of Community Housing Development Inc.; member, Wesley College Board of Trustees; commissioner, Speer Trust; director, United Way of Delaware; elder, First & Central Presbyterian Church.
Wilmington activist, tough-love mentor Jim Gilliam dies (The News Journal)
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware (LEFT) pins a American Campaign Medal on former Buffalo Soldier Jim Gilliam (RIGHT) who served in the military during World War II and the Korean War Friday, August 29, 2014, in Hockessin, Delaware. Sen. Chris Coons partnered with the National Archives and successfully found Jim Gilliam discharge papers verifying his eligibility for these replacement awards. Photo By Saquan Stimpson
Former Buffalo Soldier Jim Gilliam addresses the audience after receiving 6) Medals for his military service during World War II and the Korean War Friday, August 29, 2014, in Hockessin, Delaware. Jim Gilliam was a Buffalo Soldier in the 92nd Infantry Division, this division was a segregated unit and the only African American infantry division to see combat in Europe during World War II, as part of the 5th Army. It served in the Italian Campaign from 1944 to the war’s end. Photo By Saquan Stimpson