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Private First Class
Joseph R. Hilliard
U. S. Army

March 28, 1939 - November 17, 1965
Eastview Cemetery
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother Golie Mae Warren Hilliard

Location on the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington, D. C.

Panel 03E  Line 079



Joseph R. Hilliard, 26, Reported Killed Nov. 17
By Bud Chambers Tribune Managing Editor

Bay City suffered its second casualty of the war in Viet Nam, it was learned this weekend, when Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Hilliard of 1215 1/2 Duncan Street received a telegram from the U.S. Department of the Army. The Saturday message to the Hilliards reported that their son, Private First Class Joseph Roland Hilliard, 26, had been killed on Wednesday, Nov. 17, while engaged in hostile action with the enemy. He was serving as a communications specialist with the First Cavalry Division. The Bay City soldier had enlisted in the Army following his graduation from Prairie View A&M in 1962, having served almost 2 1/2 years at the time of his death. Following his basic training, he served a tour in Korea, and a short tour back at Ft. Benning Ga., before going to Viet Nam, arriving about Sept. 5 with his division. Hilliard was a 1957 graduate of Hilliard High School in Bay City before going on to Prairie View for his college work. According to the telegram received Saturday, the senior Hilliard, who is a barber, said that some word concerning the return of the body is expected shortly from the Army. A representative of the Commanding General, 4th U.S. Army, is also expected to contact the family presonally to offer assistance in the funeral arrangements. The local serviceman apparently was involved in the heavy fighting of the past week in the Ia Drang Valley near Pleiku during which the First Cavalry Division was attacked repeatedly by strong Cong forces, beaten back each time, and then the U.S. took the offensive and is reported to have killed some 1,400 Cong in a six day period by actual count, not included unknown losses by air attack. Many of the U.S.'s 108 losses for the week through last Monday are believed to have been suffered in that action, however, it would not be surprising - in view of the enormity of the battle and the "moderate losses" reported by the U.S. - to find that Hilliard was one of several hundred American casualties in the mid-week climax to that "biggest of the war" battle. Survivors other than the parents include the maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Warren of Schulenberg. Hilliard was an only child. It was almost two months ago to the day when the Lewis P. Winfrey family received a telegram that their son, Johnny Winfrey, also a private first class, had been killed in action in Viet Nam. The action in which young Winfrey, a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne's "Screaming Eagles," became the first Bay City casualty was also described up to that time as the heaviest fighting of the Viet Nam war.

The Daily Tribune, November 22, 1965


The body of Joseph Roland Hilliard, 26, who was killed in action Nov. 17 in the battle at Ia Drang, Viet Nam, is now lying in state at Penn Funeral Home in Bay City. Private first class Hilliard's body arrived here Tuesday following shipment from Viet Nam. Services for the second Bay City battle casualty in the war-torn country are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Tyree Chapel AME Church. Interment will follow in Eastview Cemetery. Full military honors will be accorded the local soldier. Hilliard is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Hilliard of 1215 1/2 Duncan Street in Bay City.

The Daily Tribune, December 1, 1965 


Funeral services for Golie Mae Hilliard, 85, of Bay City, will be held Saturday, October 13, 2001 at 2 p.m. at Tyree Chapel A.M.E. Church with the Rev. Joseph Garnett officiating. Burial will follow at East View Cemetery in Bay City. Visitation will be Friday afternoon until 9 p.m. at Green's Mortuary. Mrs. Hilliard will lie in state at Tyree Chapel Saturday from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Golie was born to the union of Jermone Warren and Mary Ella Houston Warren in Schulenburg, Texas on August 6, 1916. She passed away Monday October 8, 2001 at Bay Villa Nursing Home.

She is survived by: her niece, Mary Charlotte Mitchell of Corpus Christi; uncle Hebert Houston of Schulenburg, Texas and a host of cousins and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Joe Hilliard; sons, Joseph Rolland Hilliard and Shawn Redditt and a sister Leatha Beatrice Marshall.

Active pallbearers will be her cousins. Honorary pallbearers will be Hebert Houston, officers and members of Tyree Chapel A. M. E. Church.

Green's Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.

The Daily Tribune, October 12, 2001




Funeral Services for Joseph B. Hilliard, age 80, of Bay City, Texas will be held Saturday, October 28, 1995 at 1 p.m. at the Tyree Chapel A. M. E. Church in Bay City, Texas with Rev. Rayford R. Simon officiating.


Burial will follow at East View Cemetery in Bay City, Texas.  Visitation will be Friday afternoon until 9 p.m.  Family will receive friends from 7 – 9 p.m. in the chapel at Green’s Mortuary.  Mr. Hilliard will lie in state at the church Saturday from noon until 1 p.m.


Joe Hilliard was born Oct. 19, 1915 in Lavaca County to Edward and Alice Hilliard and died Oct. 25, 1995 at Matagorda General Hospital.  Upon completion of his public school education he entered Tyler Barber College and received a license.  His professional career included working as a teacher, barber, insurance salesman, and supervisor for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.  He was a faithful and active member of Tyree Chapel A. M. E. Church as well as a member of the Gulf Coast Masonic Lodge #272.


Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Golie Mae Hilliard of Bay City, four nieces; Ella Mae Stewart Wallace of Bay City, Carolyn Jackson Henderson and Savada Austin of San Antonio, and Laura Richardson of Sugarland, Texas.  Also surviving are six nephews; Roy Hilliard, Otis Hilliard and Donnie Sampson of Houston, Texas, Charles Jackson and Donnie King of Gary, Indiana, Shawn Redditt of Tyler, Texas and a host of great-nieces and nephews as well as other relatives and friends.


Active Pallbearers include, Floyd Spiller, Charles Jackson, Shawn Redditt, Roy Hilliard, Donnie King and Johnny Sidney.


Honorary Pallbearers will be Otis Hilliard, John Allniece, Wilson Hart, Lawyer Fields, Sr., Lemon McBride, Sammy Wright and Charles Brown.


The Daily Tribune, Friday, October 27, 1995

Vietnam Veterans Memorial rubbing courtesy of Anette Uher.


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Feb. 5, 2006
Jan. 16, 2010