Harry H. Ellis Jr.
Harry H. Ellis Jr., 90, passed May 24. A native of North Little Rock, AR, Harry served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942-'45. He attained the rank of captain and served as a glider pilot and liaison squadron pilot with the 10th and 14th Air Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater of action.
Harry shared a story with me while traveling to Washington, D.C. on HonorAir Knoxville Flight 14 in April about one of his missions. He was transporting an Army Mule to a post in the China-Burma-India Theater in his glider aircraft when he came up on a mountain that he knew he would not clear. He prepared for the crash landing at the top of the mountain and glided the aircraft into the jungle. Both he and the cargo survived the crash. After the landing he got out of his aircraft, removed the mule and rode it to the Army encampment, safely delivering his cargo.
Harry had many stories to share with me during this Honor Flight and thereafter. I would listen for hours to his interesting stories and life challenges coming from a new friend of the "Greatest Generation." He had a life well lived and well loved.
Following the war Harry earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Arkansas School of Law and worked for the IRS. He then went into private practice in Kansas City, MO, for 19 years. He returned to service with the U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). He retired from that agency as southeast regional counsel in Atlanta, GA. He met Anne Howard and they married July 2, 1988. They have eight children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Harry lived a full, wonderful life and contributed so much to his wife, family and the United States of America. Even at 90 years young, Harry still had some more years to give to his families and all he touched. Life ended too soon. He was of the "Greatest Generation" of Americans, and I salute, miss him and hold him close to my heart.