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
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0372
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.





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Private First Class William Ellis Jr. entered the U.S. Army from South Carolina and was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. On June 24, 1966, his unit was sent to relieve another unit under fire near Chu Prong in Gia Lai Province, South Vietnam, in the vicinity of (GC) 48P YA 818 108. While approaching the forward area, PFC Ellis came across a wounded comrade and returned to the landing zone to retrieve a medic. While on his way to the landing zone, PFC Ellis encountered a fellow soldier who advised him to remove his field gear in order to travel more quickly through the area's high grass. PFC Ellis never arrived at the landing zone, and although a medic arrived to assist the wounded soldier, he reported he was not sent by PFC Ellis. The exact circumstances surrounding PFC Ellis' loss are unknown. Search efforts were conducted in the days following his disappearance but failed to locate PFC Ellis, and further attempts to locate him or his remains have been unsuccessful. After the incident, the Army promoted PFC Ellis to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG). Today, Staff Sergeant Ellis is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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