We shall not forget

WILLIAM HERBERT ELLIS, JR.

The Citadel Class of: Class of 1940  
Cadet Company: E (Source: Sphinx 1937)
Age: 26
Born: 2-Oct-18 in Wilson, North Carolina
Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
Family: William H. Ellis (father), Archie K. Ellis (brother), Vivian M. Ellis (wife)
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Branch of Service: U.S. Army
Servicenumber: O1014568
Entered the Service from: North Carolina
Function: Platoon Leader
Regiment: not available
Battalion: 774th Tank Battalion
Division: not available
Company: “C”
Unit: not available
Date of death: 9-Jan-45
Status: KIA
Place of death: Ardennes, Belgium, Battle of the Bulge
Spot: Bihain, Belgium
Awards: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster
Gravenumber: Plot C Row 11 Grave 12
Cemetery: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
Biography: not available
Other information: Freshman football squad (Source: Sphinx 1937)

“William was on a mission to assist Infantry in capturing the town of Bihain, Belgium, on the evening of
9 January 1945. he was dismounted from his tank, directing its movement, when he was hit by enemy
small arms fire. He died instantly. This action took place during the counter-attack launched to drive the
enemy from the “bulge”, now known as the Battle of the Ardennes. In giving their lives, William and his
comrades made victory possible in this decisive operation and paved the way for the march to final
victory.[1] William was buried with a Protestant Chaplain officiating and with full military honors at the
Henri Chapelle Cemetery in eastern Belgium.”
– Source: Excerpt from Letter to Mrs. Ellis from the Commanding Officer 774th Tank Bn, 23 April 1945

Notes:
1. According to the 774th’s After Action Report for the month of January 1945, five men were Killed-in-
Action 9 to 10 January and another 5 were wounded. The S-2 (Intelligence Officer) noted on that day:
“Elements of 9th Panzer Division identified in area. Still encountering mines. Snow hampers ready
identification.”

Sources: American Battle Monuments Commission, The Citadel Archive & Museum, Mike Stannard ’65, WWII draft card (NARA), Wilson Country’s Greatest Generation, Find A Grave.com

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One response

  1. Pingback: Memorial Day Weekend 2012 in Belgium and The Netherlands – Part I « The Citadel Memorial Europe

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