Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Ellisons in:
 • Memorial Park Cemetery
 • Memphis
 • Shelby County
 • Tennessee
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
SMN Charlie Melvin Ellison
Birth: Nov. 16, 1943
Kings Mountain
Cleveland County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Feb. 27, 1969
Tam Kỳ, Vietnam

US Navy Seaman Charlie Melvin Ellison, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Kings Mountain, NC.

US Navy Commissaryman Second Class Charlie Melvin Ellison was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Navy, CS2 Ellison served our country until February 27th, 1969 in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. He was 25 years old and was married. It was reported that Charlie died from artillery fire. His body was recovered. CS2 Ellison is on panel 31W, line 079 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for 8 years.

Ship Mates together in Memphis: Charlie, that was a terrible explosion that took you and the lives of so many other guys in Literage. I was just coming into the harbor at Da Nang and we saw all of the boats blowing up. The memorial service was nice but how can a 22 year old not be effected. I still think of you 34 years later. I've gone on to be come a chef but you surely helped give me a start. May God continue to bless and keep you, Michael Russell, 3393 Seminole Court, Rochester Hills, MI 48309.

I accidentally stumbled into this article when I typed YFU 78 into a search engine. If you type YFU 74 into dogpile, you may find it taking you to The African American Veterans web page where there is a picture of Ed Head, my then Craftmaster on the 74. I was the Quartermaster on the YFU 74 from July 68 through July 69 and relieved Milton Shapiro on the 74 when he became the Craftmaster of the 78. The afternoon of Feb 27, 1969 Milton Shiparo offered to take the load of ammo we were scheduled to pick up at Bridge Ramp. Our Enginemen were just finishing up repairs on a steering motor on board our boat, which prevented us from sailing over to bridge ramp to have the ammo loaded so we could set sail later that evening.

Because of Milton's volunteering for that load I am still here. I would have been in the pilot house at the time of the attack, preparing for my mid-watch and leaving port. The attack happened just after 2300 and the fire and explosions lasted close to midnight. I watched it from the Lighterage dock, where all the LCU's and YFU's tied up between trips. I believe only three men on the 78 survived. They had just returned from the EM club at Camp Tien Sha and were in the boat's galley when the attack happened. As I was told, there were three rockets fired at the boats.

The first landed alongside the warehouses along the North side of the ramp, second landed just behind both the 1500 and 78. A crew member on my boat the 74, told us he heard the man on watch in the pilot house of the 78 asking the HQ at Lighterage for permission to leave the loading area. That must have been just before the third rocket hit the 1500 and both boats went up. Black powder and projectiles were our usual load whenever we loaded up at bridge ramp and the 78 probably had over 300 tons on board. The 1500 probably had over 200 tons. I didn't see the initial explosion, but I felt it from at least two miles away. By the time I made it up into our pilot house the bridge ramp area was still exploding.

My middle daughter, Katie went to Washington D.C. in 1998 for a high school Outreach trip. She went to the Wall for me to look up Milton Shapiro's name. She took a shading and when she brought it home to me and placed it in my hand I had a strange feeling and chills. Later that evening I looked up Milton's name on the Vietnam Veterans Causality List web site and discovered that Katie had taken Milton's shading exactly 29 years to the day of the attack. In my prayers I often remember Milton and the others who took my place that night. Thanks to their unselfish heroism I have enjoyed a wonderful life and have a wonderful family. Thank you for this memorial to the YFU 78 and the LCU 1500. They were all good sailors and fine men. God Bless our Vietnam Veteran Heroes! Sincerely, Stanley Houlberg Jr. QM3

Charlie was married to Barbara Williams of Memphis Tenn. He attended Kings Mt.School. He enjoyed fishing & hiking. He was a great dancer,great brother and is still loved and missed. Edith Ellison Goforth.

In 1979 the Navy at NAS Memphis dedicated the Enlisted Dining Hall to Charlie and named it Ellison Dining Hall. The building eventually became a recreation center and still bares Charlie's name. There is a plaque regarding Charlie in Ellison Recreation Center today. I was the Division Officer of that facility 1977-1979. The idea to name it after Charlie came from men who had worked with Charlie at the galley prior to his tour in Viet Nam. Fred S. Culvyhouse II, Captain SC USN (Ret)

"On the fields of battle in Viet Nam, Agony in the air that clung, He has fallen, Our Charles has fallen, Never to rise again? You are wrong, very wrong my friend. The Savior of this world, mightier than pen or sword, Has given us His solemn Word,"If thou wouldst believe, Thou would see the glory of His Lord" What "glory", What "glory" Lord,
Could our hearts be expecting, And then He calls forth with the voice that created this universe, "the Glory of the Resurrection" But we are human Lord and we are tempted to say, "if thou had been here, the hand of death would surely stay". But He smiles and His words gently caress our wounded hearts, " I am the Resurrection, I am the life", you should know this from the start Charlie knew this, and with faith undaunted, He conquered death and with a word, flaunted "I am ready to serve wherever duty demands, In Viet Nam, or whatever be the command. I don't want to die, but I'm not afraid for I went when the Savior bade I made my peace with the Savior King Long before the cry of "death" would ring With tears of repentance creasing my cheeks I walked down the aisles of a Church called Big Creek, To say to my Pastor and to the world, I want to settle all accounts with my Lord. And settle accounts, did he indeed, For his continual letters were statements of how the Savior met his needs, The sheer joy of reading his Bible, And finding peace and strength in prayer. Leaves no doubt whatever that the Savior King was there And he can be assured as the King met his needs, in life He was there when the crisis was rife. To take him to his breast and say to our Charlie, "Now, you have found perfect rest."
No more war, no more fear, no more longing for those who are so dear No more bloodshed, no more tears, But just waiting for the passage of years. When those that shared their lives with you entirely, Shall come to live with you eternally. Out of the shadows of this experience let there not be hopelessness, But the Truth of Christ, our hearts to bless. After the flag has been draped and the bugle blown,
Let this truth, forever be known, Charlie Ellison is not dead, HE'S ALIVE, HE'S ALIVE. Gloriously, Wonderfully Alive.

Charlie is the son of James Ervin and Bertha Stroup Ellison of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, NC. He was one of ten children. Nellie Mae Ellison,James Ellison,Ruth Ellison
Edith Ellison, Alvin Ellison-Vietnam Veteran
Viola Ellison, Elizabeth Ellison,
Doyle Ellison-Vietnam Veteran,& Tommy Ellison

He served on the YFU-78, NAVSUPACT DA NANG, US Naval Forces, Vietnam.

He was awarded The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.
Family links: 
  James Ervin Ellison (1906 - 1987)
  Bertha Stroupe Ellison (1906 - 2001)
  Billie Ellison (1928 - 1928)**
  Ruth Jeanette Ellison Cook (1935 - 2015)*
  Charlie Melvin Ellison (1943 - 1969)
*Calculated relationship
Memorial Park Cemetery
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Sunny Slope, Lot # 126, Space # 3
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Jan 21, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17613778
SMN Charlie Melvin Ellison
Added by: Tom Reece
SMN Charlie Melvin Ellison
Added by: Tom Reece
SMN Charlie Melvin Ellison
Added by: Tom Reece
There are 4 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Dear Uncle Melvin, I am your nephew through your sister Viola. I wish I could have known you more, but you were dear to my mothers heart. I decided to My Country knowing you died for all of us serving yours. You held me as a baby, and my mother says I re...(Read more)
- John Kilgore
 Added: May. 31, 2014
We as a nation are so very proud of your service & humbled by your sacrifice. May your rest be glorious...
- Judith Parker-Proctor
 Added: Nov. 10, 2013
Thank you for your bravery, courage and dedication
- Raven
 Added: Nov. 23, 2009
There are 2 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
This page is sponsored by: Judith Parker-Proctor

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED