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Gen Richard Elmer Ellsworth

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Gen Richard Elmer Ellsworth

  • Birth 18 Jul 1911 Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 18 Mar 1953 Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Burial Sturgis, Meade County, South Dakota, USA
  • Plot Section D, Grave 10
  • Memorial ID 17207905

United States Army Brigadier General. His military career began in 1929 when he joined the Pennsylvania National Guard. Two years later he was accepted to the U.S. Military Academy and then went on to pilot training in Texas. He received a master's degree in meteorology from the California Institute of Technology. In 1943 he participated in the Pacific war offensives flying more than 400 combat missions in the China-Burma-India Theater. He logged more than 780 hours of flying. He received battle stars for 8 campaigns, earned the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Medals and received the Chinese Air Force Wings. After the war he returned to the United States and took over the responsibilities of Chief of Operations and Training for the Air Weather Service in Washington D.C. In September 1952, he was promoted to Brigadier General. During the early 1950's he assisted the filming of the movie, "Battles of Chief Pontiac" starring Lex Barker, Helen Westcott and Lon Chaney Jr. General Ellsworth allowed military personnel from the Air Force Base to perform as extras in the movie and he also provided water trucks for the movie crews. In the Spring of 1953 he was co-piloting a bomber on a 25-hour simulated combat mission flying from the Azores to Rapid City, South Dakota. Part of the simulation included observation of radio silence and use of no radar guidance. Celestial navigation was part of the training. Late in the night they encountered bad weather and went off course. At about 4:10 AM, near Burgoyne's Cove in Newfoundland, the bomber struck an 896 foot hill while traveling at 202 knots. At the time, visibility was reported to be about 1/8 of a mile. General Ellsworth and 22 of the crew were killed on impact. On June 13, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower went to the Rapid City Air Force Base and re-named it Ellsworth Air Force Base in honor of the General.

Bio by: Number1


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Number1
  • Added: 29 Dec 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17207905
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen Richard Elmer Ellsworth (18 Jul 1911–18 Mar 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17207905, citing Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, Meade County, South Dakota, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .