Harold John Ellison : biography
Harold John Ellison (17 January 1917 - 4 June 1942) was a naval aviator and member of Torpedo Squadron 8, the whole of which was lost during the Battle of Midway.
Harold Ellison was born in Buffalo, New York, and was appointed Ensign 20 October 1941 after completing flight training. Soon afterwards he reported to Torpedo Squadron 8 on board the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8).
In the pivotal Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942 Ellison, piloting a Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bomber, and his comrades led a torpedo attack on Japanese ships, pressing home the attack without fighter cover and knowing they had insufficient fuel to return to Hornet. Though no hits were scored and all of the squadrons aircraft were shot down in this first attack, its torpedo bombers and those of Torpedo Squadron 6 and Torpedo Squadron 3 diverted the Japanese ships, decoyed their combat air patrols away from U.S. Navy dive bombers which attacked the Japanese aircraft carriers very successfully soon afterward, and thus contributed importantly to the great American victory in the battle.
Ensign Ellison was classified as "presumed dead" on 5 June 1942.
Ensign Ellison received the Navy Cross posthumously for his gallantry at Midway.
The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Harold J. Ellison (DE-545) was named in honor of Ensign Ellison, but was cancelled in 1944 while under construction. The destroyer USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) then was named for him, and was in commission from 1945 to 1983.
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