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Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, S.D., is named for him: Born in Erie, Pa., in 1911; killed in an aircraft accident near Nut Cove, Newfoundland, March 18, 1953.

Richard Ellsworth served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for two years before entering the U.S. Military Academy in mid-1931. He graduated four years later, and took pilot training at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas. In Oct. 1936 he was assigned to squadron duties at Mitchel Field, N.Y. and was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1938. From then until April 1942 he was stationed at Kelly Field and at the Sacramento Air Depot in Calif. During this period he was promoted to captain in Oct. 1940, to major in Dec. 1941, and to lieutenant colonel in Feb. 1942. He also studied at the California Institute of Technology, receiving a master's degree in Meteorology.

Ellsworth went to Alaska in the spring of 1942 as a transport pilot. In October 1942 he went to the South Pacific for temporary work on Army Air Force weather matters, was promoted to colonel that December. In July 1943 he went to the China-Burma-India Theater where he flew 400 combat missions for a total of 780 hours for the 10th and 14th Air Forces. He received battle stars for eight different campaigns, and also earned the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Medals, and the Chinese Air Force Wings.

Ellsworth returned to the U.S. after the war for assignment to the Air Weather Service in Washington as chief of Operations and Training Division. From August 1946 to August 1949 he was commanding officer of the 380th Reconnaissance Group at Morrison Field, Fla., and later at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, Calif. He graduated from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. in July 1950 and went to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., as chief of plans for the 2nd Air Force. He was promoted to brigadier general in September 1952 at Rapid City Air Force Base, S.D., where be was wing commander and later commanding general of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing from November 1950 to March 1953. The base at Rapid City was named for him in June 1953.

(Source - U.S. Air Force Biographical Dictionary by Flint 0. DuPre, Col., U.S. Air Force Reserve)


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