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Harold John Ellison

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Harold John Ellison
Born(1917-01-17)January 17, 1917
Buffalo, New York
DiedJune 4, 1942(1942-06-04) (aged 25)
Pacific Ocean, near Midway Atoll
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1941–1942
UnitTorpedo Squadron 8
Battles/warsWorld War II
*Battle of Midway
AwardsNavy Cross

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.

Naval career[edit]

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 the Japanese carriers, pressing home the attack without fighter cover. Though no hits were scored and all of the squadron's aircraft were shot down, the attack had disrupted the Japanese formation, delaying their preparations for a second strike. Subsequent attacks by Torpedo Squadron 6 and Torpedo Squadron 3 continued this disruption, as well as occupying the Japanese combat air patrol while U.S. Navy dive bombers slipped in virtually unnoticed. These subsequently attacked the Japanese aircraft carriers with great success, so that, barely an hour after Torpedo 8's sacrifice, three Japanese carriers were in flames.

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.

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic World War II : Jesse Rutherford Jr., Stephen C. Ananian, Donald W. Wolf, Maurice Joseph Manuel, Roy Orestus Hale Jr., Malcolm Lewis Pratt, Richard L. Cevoli
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  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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