May 15, 1889 Clayton Johnston County North Carolina, USA
Nov. 24, 1913 San Diego San Diego County California, USA
Eric Lamar Ellington was born 1889, youngest of 3 known surviving children (all boys) born to Sheriff Jesse T. Ellington (CSA) and his 2nd wife Sallie Williamson. It is reported he had the nickname, "Polly". His father, Sheriff Ellington, had 6 children with his first wife, that were half-siblings of Eric.
Eric was 12 when his mother died in 1901. According to some published reports, Eric then went to live with his half-brother, John Oglethorpe Ellington, who was then a 27-year old newlywed bank cashier in Smithfield. He reportedly graduated high school in Smithfield in 1905, and at the age of sixteen entered the U. S. Naval Academy as midshipman. During his years at the academy, Ellington completed cruises on the CLEVELAND and the HARTFORD. In June 1909, he was graduated third in his class and received a bachelor of science degree. He completed his two years of prescribed sea duty and was then commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy on June 5, 1911. Classmates who knew him said he never went to bed without first reading his bible and praying.
Ellington served as an Ensign until Nov. 7, 1911, when he resigned form the Navy to accept a commission in the U. S. Army as a second lieutenant. Lieutenant Ellington served at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., until December 1912.
He moved to College Park, Md., where he served on the Aeronautical division of the Signal Corps until Feb. 3, 1913. Ellington qualified as a military aviator on Aug. 11, 1913 and served as such until he was killed in an airplane accident at San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 24, 1913 while on flight duty.
The 24-year old Lt. Ellington was buried with military honors in the family plot in Clayton City Cemetery. Ellington Field in Houston, Texas is named in his honor.