Notable People

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Rear Admiral William B. Ellis


William Bromfield Ellis was born in Albany, Georgie, on January 26, 1914.  After graduating from Stamford High School in Connecticut, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with an appointment as cadet on August 3, 1932, and was graduated with a B.S. Degree and commissioned an Ensign on June 8, 1936.  While a cadet, he served as a Company Commander, manager of the football squad, and as editor of the cadet year book, "Tide Rips".

After leaving the Academy, he served in an engineering capacity on board the Coast Guard Cutters Champlain and Pontchartrain, and as gunnery officer on board the Cutter Mohawk in the North Atlantic.

At the outbreak of World War II, he was serving as navigator on board the Cutter Haida with the defense forces in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.  That was followed by a stint as Assistant Captain-of-the-Port at Ketchikan from February 1942 to February 1943.

After completing training with LST Flotilla 8 at Curtis Bay, Md., and at the Submarine Chaser Training Center at Miami in August 1943, he commanded the destroyer USS Pettit of Escort Division 20 which was engaged at the time in escorting convoys of ships to the British Isles.  In 1945 he commended Escort Division 20 - with the destroyer USS Marchand (DE-249) as his flagship - in both European and Pacific areas.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service in the European Theatre of operations.

Following the war he was stationed as Planning and Control Officer at the Seventh Coast Guard District office in Miami from January 1946 to January 1947.  At that time he was ordered to the Coast Guard Academy where he served first as Navigation instructor and then as Head of the Department of Gunnery, Law and Military Science.  Between July 1951 and September 1952, he commanded the destroyer Lowe (WDE-425) in the Pacific.

During the next four years he was Assistant Chief, Enlisted Personnel Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  He then commanded the cutter Coos Bay (WAVP-376) on ocean station patrol in the North Atlantic out of Portland, Me., from August 1956 to May 1958.

Returning to the Coast Guard Academy, he served first as Head of the Aviation, Seamanship and Navigation Department for two years, and then as Commandant of the Cadets from July 1960 to June 1962.  A second tour of duty at Coast Guard Headquarters saw him first as Chief, Officer Personnel Division for one year, followed by two years of duty as Deputy Chief, Office of Personnel.  From there he assumed the post as Chief of Staff, Third Coast Guard District, New York, in June 1965.

By nomination of the President on January 29, 1966, and confirmation of the Senate, he was appointed Rear Admiral to rank from July 1, 1966.  In this capacity he assumed the flag ranking post of Chief, Officer of Personnel at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

In June 1968, he assumed the post of Commander, First Coast Guard District, Boston, Mass., boundaries of which include the New England States and Coast Guard activities in the North Atlantic.  On Sept. 18, 1970, he was presented the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of duty in that post.  Among other accomplishments he was cited for his remarkable talents as Chairman of the Field Coordinating Group which were vital to the Transportation Department and the Coast Guard in generating a spirit of cooperation.  He also was cited for showing great versatility and breadth of perspective while fulfilling an extremely sensitive assignment as Interim Regional Secretarial Representative.  RADM Ellis was praised for his personal dedication, exemplary tact and diplomacy.

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, RADM Ellis has the following World War II campaign service medals and ribbons: American Defense with combat star; American Area, European-African-Middle Eastern Area; Asiatic-Pacific; World War II Victory.  He also has the Expert Rifle Shot and Expert Pistol Shot Medals, as well as the Legion of Merit.

Following is a resume of his appointments in rank: Ensign, June 8, 1936; Lieutenant (jg), June 8, 1939; Lieutenant, August 1, 1941; Lieut. Commander, December 8, 1942; Commander, August 14, 1945; (temporary appointments revoked after WWII) reappointed Lieut. Commander, July 1, 1946; Commander, November 1, 1948; Captain, July 1, 1957; Rear Admiral, July 1, 1966.

RADM Ellis is married to the former Dorcas A. of Stamford, conn.  They have one son, Richard A., and a daughter Lynne, the wife of J.D. Partin, a Coast Guard commissioned officer.

RADM Ellis is the son of the late Mr. Arthur H. Ellis and Mrs. Florence B. Ellis.

RADM Ellis has held memberships on the Executive Board of the Pequot Council for Boy Scouts; and on the Governing Board of the U.S. Power Squadron.  He is also a member of the National Geographic Society, and of the Coast Guard Alumni Association.

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