Staff Sergeant Gene Edward Lillard was born in Maryville, Tennessee, on July 23, 1929, to parents, Reverend Horace Lillard and Nixie Young Lillard. He was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 5th Air Force. On December 27, 1952, he was a passenger on a C-47D Skymaster (DC-3), operated by the Royal Helena Air Force. As it took off from Chinhae Air Base (K-10), South Korea it crashed near Haengom-ni killing all 14 aboard.

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