ELLIS, WILLIAM JR.
Name: William Ellis Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry
Date of Birth: 28 January 1947
Home City of Record: Summerville SC
Date of Loss: 24 June 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 133913N 1073622E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.
SYNOPSIS: PFC William Ellis, Jr. was a rifleman in Alpha Company which was
on a support operation in Pleiku Province to assist in the withdrawal of a
reconnaissance platoon on June 24, 1966. The Recon platoon had been engaged
with the enemy.
As Alpha Company moved from their landing zone to the vicinity of the recon
platoon, Ellis saw a wounded soldier and returned to the LZ to get help. As
Ellis moved toward the LZ, he was seen removing his field gear so he could
move faster. Shortly after Ellis was seen headed toward the LZ, friendly
forces evacuated the area, and Ellis was not seen again. The man Ellis was
trying to help was removed with the group during withdrawal.
Searches were conducted for three or four days and into July with no trace
of Ellis. He was classified as Missing In Action. No one saw him die, no one
saw him wounded. The 19-year-old black youth who left his home in South
Carolina to serve his country disappeared without trace.
When prisoners were released at the end of the was, Ellis was not one of
them. Although there is a high probability that the Vietnamese know his
fate, they deny any knowledge of him. Even though over 10,000 reports
relating to Americans lost in Southeast Asia have been received, and many
authorities believe there are still hundreds alive today, the U.S. maintains
no actionable evidence is in hand.