General Richard H. Ellis (1919-1989), a native of Laurel, was pilot on more than 200 bombing missions in the Pacific in World War II. The youngest colonel in the Air Corps, he became deputy chief of staff, Far East Air Forces.
Before the war, Richard earned a bachelor's degree at Dickinson College and, after the war, took a law degree at Dickinson and became a member of the Delaware bar.
Recalled at the outbreak of the Korean War, he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Command at Langley AFB, Va. He went on to serve in a succession of top posts, including vice chief of staff, commander of Allied air forces-central Europe, and commander-in¬chief of U.S. air forces in Europe. He retired in 1981 following four years as commander-in-chief of the Strategic Air Command.
In 1982, the President named him U.S. delegate on the U.S.-Soviet Standing Consultative Commission, with the rank of ambassador. (A list of his decorations, which include the Delaware Distinguished Service Medal, would fill this page.)
"Our Nation must never forget men like Dick Ellis," said Sam Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee.
General and Mrs. Ellis, the former Margaret Parry Wolcott of Laurel, raised a daughter and two sons, one of whom is a KC-135 pilot. Margaret, known as Peg, lives in McLean, Va.
The honoree was nominated by Lee P. Riggin of Laurel.