Rear Admiral Ellis Reed-Hill was born in Belleville, Mich., on 8 August, 1889. He received his early education in Detroit. Mich., public schools and later attended Ferris Institute at Big Rapids and Detroit Central High School. He was graduated from the latter in 1908.
For the next three years he attended the University of Michigan, where he majored in marine engineering. In May, 1911, he was appointed a cadet in the U.S. Coast Guard and received a commission as an ensign in engineering in January of the following year.
His first assignment as an officer was engineering duty on the Apache, from which he was transferred to the McCulloch in March, 1912. He left the Morrill in December, 1916, for line duty on the Seneca and then was transferred to the Seminole for line and engineering duty in May of 1917. From February to November 1918, he occupied a specialized post in the Bureau of Steam Engineering, Navy Department.
In October, 1920, he was attached to the office of the Inspector for Hulls at Oakland, Calif., in connection with outfitting various Coast Guard cutters. He was assigned to duty on the Mojave in January of the following year and to the Tuscarora from March to October of 1923. He then returned to the Mojave, where he remained until November, 1924.
From December, 1924, to March, 1928, he was assigned to duty at Section Base 11, San Francisco, Calif., and served as commanding officer of that base for two years. In December, 1925, he was designated Assistant Inspector (engineering) and a Member of the Board of Inspectors for the Pacific Coast, in addition to his regular duties.
His next assignment was that of engineering officer on the Wilkes and was followed in August, 1929, by a short period of duty on the Tampa. For three years, beginning in September of 1929, he served as an instructor at the Coast Guard Academy and then returned to sea duty on the Champlain. Leaving this vessel in Feb., 1934, he became Coast Guard Representative at the Navy Yard, Charleston, S.C. In March, 1934, he was made Commanding Officer of Base 3 at Charleston and three months later was appointed Captain of the Port of Charleston.
Leaving Charleston in October, 1935, he was assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., as a member of the Permanent Board. In the spring of 1940 he participated in the Good Will Tour to Mexico and Central America aboard the Itasca. He was detached from the Board in August of that year to serve as Chief of the Public Information Division, in which capacity he served throughout the war. On 1 August, 1946 he was sworn in for a four year term as Coast Guard Engineer-in-Chief, at Washington, D.C.
After receiving a commission as an ensign on 18 January, 1912, he was promoted in rank as follows: Lieutenant (jg), 31 March, 1916; Lieutenant, 12 January, 1923; Lieutenant Commander, 1 July, 1926; Commander, 1 March, 1931; Captain, 1 July, 1942; Commodore, in July, 1945; Rear Admiral, 1 August, 1946.
Rear Admiral Reed-Hill married Elise D. of Detroit, Mich., in March, 1912. They have one son, Lieutenant Robert E. Reed-Hill, USCG(T), an instructor at the Coast Guard Academy, and a daughter, who is married to Lieutenant Charles Dillman, USCGR.