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Ellis, James (1952-1955)*

Profile added 2/3/2010 1:07:24 PM

1955 - in front of the 42APS Orderly Room
Click HERE to view enlarged

Jim today...Click HERE to view enlarged


Hometown:  West Barnstable, MA

Unit at Loring:  42 APS

First day at Loring:

Fresh from clerk-typist school in Kansas, a dozen of us were greeted with open arms when we arrived in April 1952.  There were only a few hundred personnel assigned to the then Limestone AFB, many of them reservist called up for the Korean War.  We were the first contingent of regular airmen of any size assigned, and we filled a pressing need for administrative support.

Most memorable experience:  Most should not be related because of privacy and sensitivity concerns.  Yet one memorable incident of this nature ought to be described even though it was promptly judged politically incorrect even in 1955.  The Air Police Squadron had a habitual miscreant who earned a bad conduct discharge.  And he was sent off in style.  An old-fashioned "drumming out" ceremony was held for him in the squadron courtyard.  Almost the entire squadron attended.  After reading the discharge, Col. Love ordered the assembled squadron:  "About Face!"  And as the men turned their backs on the offender, the first sergeant received the order:  "Sergeant, escort this man off the confines of this base!"  With an armed guard on each side of the man and a drummer following, the quartet made its way to the main gate about a mile away.  The somber ceremony made a deep impression on our younger airman.  But it made a decidely negative impression on the off-base higher command.  There were censures, and the scene was never repeated.

Last Day at Loring:  Joyous and wistful at the same time.  Happy to be moving on, but unhappy to leave some good friends.  The squadron commander and provost marshal, Lt. Col. Robert Love, approved my request for an early release to attend college (Michigan State).  When the base commander initially rejected the request, Col. Love marched up to headquarters and asserted when he approved such a request, he expected those up the chain to also approve.  He was convincing, and I got my early out.
What have you done since Loring?  After graduating from Michigan State, I headed the Crime Analysis Unit of the St. Louis, P. D., served as a consultant for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police; headed the Planning Bureau of the Mass. State Police; and worked in management positions with the U.S. Law Enforcement Asst. Adm., Immigration & Naturalization Service, Dept. of the Interior, IRS, and Dept. of Labor.  In retirement, I have pursued writing - authoring a biography for the Naval Institute and a history of the War of 1812 as well as numerous magazine articles.

If you agree, people can contact you at (email):  aps42@msn.com