ELLIS, LEON FRANCIS
|Name: Leon Francis Ellis
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force
Unit: 390th TFS
Date of Birth: 09 October 1943
Home City of Record: Commerce GA
Date of Loss: 07 November 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 174500 North 1062500 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Kenneth Fisher, returnee
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. 2018
REMARKS: 730314 RELEASED BY DRV
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
LEON F. ELLIS,JR.
Captain- United States Air Force
Shot Down: November 7, 1967
Released: March 14, 1973
I was born on October 9, 1943 and from the age of one lived on a small farm
in Northeast Georgia located about nine miles from Athens and nine miles
from Commerce At Commerce High School, I played all sports and was
quarterback on the football team. I was selected as STAR Student during my
senior year and graduated from high school in 1961. That fall I entered the
University of Georgia and four years later received a Bachelor of Arts
degree with a major in History; I was a distinguished military graduate and
received a commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation. Shortly
thereafter, I entered flight school at Moody AFB, Georgia. I received my
wings in August 1966 and went to George AFB, California for training in the
F4C Phantom jet fighter-bomber.
In July 1967 I departed the United States for Danang AB, Republic of Vietnam
and was flying from there when I was shot down November 7, 1967 on my 53rd
mission over North Vietnam.
It all began about 4:30 in the afternoon when we rolled in on an active flak
site about 30 miles north of Dong Hoi. The aircraft was hit immediately
after bomb release, and it exploded into three pieces. I ejected a few
seconds later and had an exciting but gentle parachute letdown to the
ground. The North Vietnamese were all around and I was captured after having
time only to make a short transmission on my survival radio.
Thus began a situation which would test my faith, my patience and my
strength. I soon realized that although one must have short and long-term
goals, he must live each day as it comes, facing each new challenge with a
will to do the thing which is right. This philosophy not only strengthened
me during the difficult times, but it brought and continues to bring an
inner happiness never before experienced.
Today, when I think back over this period in my life, I find that the mind
tends to forget the bad and remember the good. I remember the close bonds of
friendship that were made with fellow POW's where compassion, patience,
understanding, honesty and loyalty were not just words, but a way of life.
I remember the warm and sincere homecoming given by the American people and
the feeling of gratitude which I had upon learning that so many had been
working and praying for my welfare.
I know that I shall never lose my love and appreciation for freedom, and I
hope that I do not forget the responsibilities which go hand in hand with
Leon Ellis Jr. retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and
his wife Mary reside in Georgia.
http://freedomstarmedia.com/lee-ellis Leading with Honor Introduction - Lee Ellis
http://www.amazon.com/Leading-Honor-Leadership-Lessons-Hilton/dp/0983879303/ref=la_B006YYV0SC_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365209759&sr=1-1 = THE BOOK
Written by Stephen Herzog
When Lee Ellis had his plane shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, he wasn't worried.
were downed fairly regularly those days. He'd been trained on how to act
in such a situation, and his equipment all
worked properly upon evacuation.
kept pretty cool at first,"¯ said Ellis, who will be speaking in Branson
this week. "It wasn't until I got captured that I
went into shock."
The biggest problem was where the plane ended up — right in the middle of an enemy base.....
Earlier this month, the Daughters of American
Revolution (DAR) awarded Lee as a 2015 Distinguished Citizen Award
for his lifelong contribution to helping preserve America’s freedom. Georgia First Lady, Sandra Deal (pictured in the photo with Lee
and his wife, Mary) presented Lee with his award.
Thanks for celebrating with us, and please learn more about this worthwhile organization!