Earl Hancock Ellis

Earl Hancock Ellis

Infobox Military Person
name=Earl Hancock Ellis

born= birth date|1880|12|19
died= death date and age|1923|5|12|1880|12|19
placeofbirth=Iuka, Kansas
placeofdeath=Palau, Caroline Islands
allegiance= United States of America
branch=United States Marine Corps
rank=Lieutenant Colonel
battles=Philippine-American War World War I
awards=Navy Cross Croix de Guerre Légion d'honneur Distinguished Service Medal.

Lieutenant Colonel Earl Hancock "Pete" Ellis (December 19, 1880 – May 12, 1923) was a United States Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, and author of [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/ref/AdvBaseOps/index.html "Operations Plan 712: Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia"] , which became the basis for the American campaign of amphibious assault that defeated the Japanese in World War II. Ellis' prophetic study helped establish his reputation as one of the forefront of naval theorists and strategist of the era in amphibious warfare, foreseeing the eminent attack from Japan leading to the island-hopping campaigns in Central Pacific. Earl Ellis became the Marine Corps' first spy whose mysterious death became enclosed in controversy.


Lieutenant Colonel Ellis was born on December 19, 1880 in Iuka, Kansas, a small farming community. His parents, Augustus and Catherine Axline Ellis migrated from southeast Iowa to Kansas following the Homestead and Preemption Act. He is the 2nd oldest sibling out of six surviving children, Ralph Ellis being born the oldest son; Nellie Ellis who was the first born died of infantile cholera. He was interested in baseball and was an avid reader, enjoyed Rudyard Kipling's stories and poems.Dirk A. Ballendorf & Merrill L. Bartlett, "Pete Ellis: An Amphibious Warfare Prophet 1880-1923", 1997] His inspiration of enlistment was noted by reading magazines and newspapers on the Spanish-American War. Such tales further lured him into enlisting. As a teenager, Ellis read of Robert W. Huntington commanding the First Marine Battalion (Reinforced), known as "Huntington's Battalion", the action at Cusco Well, and the Marine landing parties serving with Admiral George Dewey in the Philippines.

Military service

Ellis began his career in the United States Marine Corps by enlisting on September 3, 1900 as the rank of Private in Chicago, Illinois; arriving to the Navy Yard in Washington days later aboard a train inbound to Washington's Union Station. During this course, his learned about the Marine Corps by other war veterans still in service, many from the Civil War era. By February 20, 1901, he was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. [Entry 84, Registers of Promotions of Non-Commissioned Officers, RG 127, NARA]

Subsequently a year later, Ellis's parents questioned Chester I. Long, the Kansas State Representative living in nearby Medicine Lodge, concerning a possible commission of Earl Ellis. Long submitted in a letter of request to Marine Corps Commandant Charles Heywood. As candidates were garnered by the permission of the Commandant, written examinations followed with tests in academic studies that were based on the Commandant's criteria on education. Thus, Earl Ellis was tutored by an Army Colonel, earning a satisfactory grade. Ellis was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on December 21, 1901.

He reported to Colonel Percival C. Pope, Commanding Officer of Marine Barracks, Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston as his first duty station as an officer on January 11, 1901. Here, newly commissioned officers were taught rudimentary lessons on how to perform inspections of Marines and their weapons. Most of these lessons were done informal by discussions and observation until March 1, 1902 when he was given orders to report to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. on March 7, 1902 for further assignment in the western Pacific. He departed on a troop train to San Francisco, California on April 1, 1902 to board a steamboat named the "Sheridan". On April, 13 he arrived to Manila, Philippine Islands on a naval base along the Cavite Peninsula and was assigned as adjutant for the 1st Regiment. During this period, boredom and monotonous duty began to effect.

:"I think that this is the laziest life that a man could find - there is not a blamed thing to do except lay around, sleep and go 'bug house'. But the same, I am helping to bear the 'White Man's Burden'." [Ellis to his mother, 3 Jun 1902; folder 6, container 1, Ellis MSS, MCHC.]

Earl Ellis has maintained a good relationship with the Commanding Officer of the 1st Regiment that he was assigned as a nominal relief aboard the battleship "Kentucky", the fleet flagship of the United States Navy, assuming command as the Marine Detachment Commander on January 21, 1903, detaching from the 1st Marine Regiment. During his embarkation on board the battleship, the crew conducted exercises in the Manila Bay and entertained the British Fleet stationed in the Far East. By late February, he sojourned to Singapore, China, and then to Yokohama, a port in Japan until the Secretary of the Navy ordered the "Kentucky" home to New York. By March, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. [Entry 68,Press Copies of Military Histories of Service of Marine Corps Officers, 1904-1911] It was during this tenure he was acquainted to George Barnett who was a major at the time. On May 25, 1904, he stood detached from the "Kentucky" and was directed to report to the Commandant on June 12, 1904 serving at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. then at Mare Island, California on September 25, 1904; assigned as the Quartermaster until December 31, 1905.

For the next couple of years, he was on temporary duty as a recruiting officer, in Oakland, California during the summer of 1906 and in Des Moines, Iowa from July 31, 1906 to April 19, 1907. By spring of that year he returned to Mare Island until November 18, 1907, he was ordered to report to the Brigade Commander Colonel William P. Biddle, who then assigned him to Olongapo, Philippine Islands [Ellis's Fitness Reports; Entry 62, RG 125, FRG; Jul 31 - Dec 31, 1906 & Jan 1 - Apr 19, 1907] as the adjutant of the 2nd Regiment, which was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel "Hiking Hiram" Bearss.

On February 14, 1908, Earl Ellis was detached from the regiment headquarters to assume command of Executive Officer of Company "E". By May 18, 1908, Earl Ellis was warranted as a Captain in the Marine Corps. [CMC to Ellis, Dec 8, 1908, Entry 16, RG 127, NARA] During which this time, Major John A. Lejeune arrived to Olongapo to relief William Biddle, assuming command of the brigade in the Philippine Islands. He selected Earl Ellis to command of Company "F", the advanced-base force on the island from July, 1 to September 30, 1908. Ellis also performed special duty assignments involving disputes about land claims amongst the local Filipinos. [Ellis's fitness reports; Entry 62, RG 125, FRC; Jul 1 - Dec 31, 1908] He continued to command Company "F" from January, 1 through May 31, 1909. And for a brief moment in the month of June, he commanded Company "E" as he was required to direct fortification and management of the local post exchange located on Grande Island as well as commanding the Marines under the company. In this duration, Earl Ellis supposedly shot the glasses of a table to enlighten the mood of a 'boring' dinner while visiting a Navy chaplain. [Major John L. Zimmerman, "The Marines' First Spy"] He returns to Olongapo in early spring of 1910 (John A. Lejeune has already left the previous summer) and re-assumes the duties as the 2nd Regiment's adjutant, until he had orders to stand detached and report back to the United States on January 12, 1911.

Earl Ellis reported to the Barracks at the Washington Navy Yard on March 22, 1911. At this time William P. Biddle was appointed Commandant. Ellis had originally requested aviation duty (which was been introduced as the time)but was deterred by Biddle, by suggestion that he attend the Naval War College. He detached from the Marine Barracks on May, 27; Captain Ellis already have been strongly influenced in the involvement of 'offensive' advance base operations (due to his assignments in the Philippines) and felt obligated in the three-year enrollment at Newport, Rhode Island for a full-year curriculum. During his involvement, he submitted papers in relation to the strategic importance of naval bases.. [Maj Earl "Pete" Ellis, "Naval Bases; Location, Resources, Denial of Bases, Security of Advanced Bases." 1913.] Thus prompting him to report to the Advanced Base Force (which later forms the Fleet Marine Force at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the east coast, while the west coast was set aside in favor of the existing forces in Olongapo. He remained at the College as a lecturer and seminar leader from October 29, 1912 to October 16, 1913. [Ellis's seminar papers are in RG 8, Naval War College archives] Captain Ellis reported to the Philadelphia Navy Yard just 4 days after his departure from the College, assigned to its headquarters as their Intelligence Officer reporting under George Barnett. Ellis played a significant role in his input of planning of the exercises that took place in Culebra of Puerto Rico.

:"The Advance Base Outfit appears to be in efficient condition and it is believed that if called upon for use it would be found thoroughly satisfactory. This condition is mainly due to the excellent work of Captain Earl H. Ellis." [Rodgers to Eli. K. Cole, 23 Sep 1913; Ellis's biographical file, MCHC]

On February 9, 1914, Ellis and the Advance Base Force embark to New Orleans for a possible deployment to Mexico in cause of tensions in the area. At this point, George Barnett was to succeed William Biddle as Commandant as Captain Ellis had orders for special assignment as a member of a special committee established by the Joint Army-Navy Board to study the defense of Guam. Since WWI as started in Europe, both German and Japanese warships have been sighted in the nearby Mariana Islands, there was a concern for the security of Guam. He reported on March, 3 to governor-designate Captain William J. Maxwell. Earl Ellis was assigned as the secretary and aide-de-camp, including duties as the chief of police, registrar of the civil government, and Intelligence Officer. It was during this period that Earl Ellis's health began to deteriorate. Medical Records have shown that it was due to an uncontrollable alcohol abuse. [Excerpt from Ellis's medical record, Ellis's fitness report file, Entry 62, RG 125, FRC]

On August 27, 1915, he had orders to return to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. for duty as one of the three Aide-de-Camps to Major General Commandant George Barnett; whereas Colonel John A. Lejeune (who became the assistant to Major General Barnett) had assigned as his "ad hoc" staff. It was at this moment that Lejeune founded the Marine Corps Association and the first publication of the "Marine Corps Gazette". By August 29, 1916, Ellis was promoted to Major, a week before United States' involvement in World War I. Commandant Barnett persuaded Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels for the participation of his Marines of 5th Marines to join General John J. Pershing in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).

Despite Major Earl Ellis's request to France, he was assigned to assist in the establishment of the new installation, Marine Corps Base Quantico on May 14, 1917. He later then served as an instructor in a school for Commissioned Officers, which became the Officer Candidate School. Originally, new Commissioned Officers were attending the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. However, Commandant Barnett was curious of the formation of the AEF and sent Ellis as a liaison to France to observe and report back to him. Ellis embarked on the "Von Steuben" on October 25, 1917 returning shortly after the first of the year.

The War Department afterward directed the 6th Marines to France and assemble with 5th Marines, along with a small to form as the 4th Brigade (Marine), 2nd Division, AEF. By May 23, 1918, Col. Lejeune received orders to France, taking Earl Ellis along with him, detaching from Quantico. Furthermore, Col. Lejeune was assigned to 64th Brigade, 32nd Division while Maj. Ellis attended him as the adjutant to Wisconsin National Guard, then eventually to a French division that was built-up between the Swiss border and the Rhône. As Col. Lejeune assumed command of the 4th Brigade on July 25, 1918, Ellis became the brigade's adjutant by August 9, 1918, in charge of preparing and supervising the orders of operations for 4th Brigade (Marine). Also, in this duration, he served as 2nd Division's inspector. [Ellis's Orders are in AEF no. 180, 29 June 1918,; folder 7, container 2, Ellis MSS, MCHC.]

As Maj. Ellis was back at the lines, he was responsible in the planning of the St. Mihiel (Champagne) Offensive (12-16 September 1918) and in the Meuse-Argonne (Champagne) Offensive from 29, September to 10 October, 1918) including the attack on and capture of Mont Blanc, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive from 31, October to 11 November, 1918). During these heroic efforts by the 5th and 6th Marines, the French bestowed them their third Croix de Guerre entitling the brigade to wear the "fourragére". Nonetheless, his reputation as a brilliant strategist and planner was in effect; the brigade commander, Brigadier General Wendell Cushing Neville recommended Ellis an accelerated promotion to Colonel. Despite that Earl Ellis never saw the promotion, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Navy Cross"LtCol. Earl Hancock Ellis", "Who's Who in Marine Corps History".] (which he received both later on November 11, 1920) while France awarded him the Croix de Guerre"LtCol. Earl Hancock Ellis", "Who's Who in Marine Corps History".] and Légion d'honneur (Grade of Chevalier). [Pershing to the Adjutant General of the Army, 8 Apr 1919, Entry 6, General Correspondence of the CinC, AEF, RG 120, NARA]

Ellis was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Gold Star, and was cited by the Marshall of France commanding French Armies of the East as follows:

:"From the 2nd to the 10th of October, 1918, near Blanc Mont, Lieutenant Colonel Ellis has shown a high sense of duty. Thanks to his intelligence, his courage and hi energy, the operations that this Brigade (Fourth Brigade, Second Division) took part in, have always been successful."

He served with the Fourth Brigade (Marine) in France from April to 11 December 1920. On 11 November 1920, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his planning the attack and capture of Mont Blanc, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. His citation reads:

:"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service. As Adjutant, Fourth Brigade Marines, he displayed utter disregard of personal hardship and danger, energetic application and an unfailing devotion to the duties of his office. He has ever shown himself ready for any emergency, even when he has been without sleep or rest for several days and nights at a time. His keen analytical mind, quick grasp of intricate problems, resourcefulness, decision and readiness to take prompt action on important questions arising during the temporary absence of the Brigade Commander within the Brigade, have contributed largely to the success of the Brigade, rendered his services invaluable and won for him the high esteem and complete confidence of the Brigade Commander."

By November 11, 1918, 4th Brigade (Marine) recuperated; on November, 17, 2nd Division, AEF marched onward north reaching the German territory by November, 25, eventually reaching the Rhine by December 10, 1918. For the remainder of the occupation, 4th Brigade (Marine) stayed along the Rhine (until German's surrender). As the 5th Regiment's commander, Logan Feland was promoted to Brigadier General, Col. Harold Snyder assumed command; Earl Ellis was appointed as the Executive Officer of the regiment. On July, 1, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. By August 1919, 4th Brigade (Marine) embarked back home to the United States with Earl Ellis returning to Quantico. By this time, the Secretary of the Navy informed him that he is no longer the adjutant and inspector of the brigade. On August 3, 1919, Commandant Barnett instructs him to report to a Marine regiment that was stationed nearby Galveston on a intelligence-gathering mission by the decree of the Office of Naval Intelligence, concerning the fear of German's seizing Mexico's oil fields. [CMC to Ellis, 15 Aug 1919, Ellis's Officer's Qualification Records, HQMC]

He returned to Quantico and stood detached from the 5th Marines as of November 25, 1919 for duty at Headquarters Marine Corps. On New Year's Day, he was admitted into the United States Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C., diagnosed with depression, exhibiting "delirium tremens" and neurasthenia, symptoms that arose from his abuse of alcohol. He remained on convalescent leave until April 17, 1920, he stood discharged from the hospital and was to report to Brigadier General Logan Feland in the Dominic Republic for intelligence-gathering. He embarked on a troop transport ship "Kittery" from Charleston, South Carolina on April, 20; he reported to BGen. Feland on May 10, 1920. He contributed in forming the Guardia Nacional in Santo Domingo, in which the Marines had attempted since their occupation in 1916; BGen. Feland lauded Ellis's performance:

:"The effect of his [Ellis's] thorough knowledge of intelligence duties and of his hard work in training his subordinates became apparent almost at once. The intelligence reports, which had been a mass of unrelated and generally unimportant scraps of information, became well-compiled and well-digested reports of the condition in Santo Domingo." [Fuller and Cosmas, "Marines in the Dominic Republic", 31-40 passim; and log of the "Kittery", RG 24, NARA]

During the fall of 1920, Ellis and BGen Feland stood detached from their Caribbean duty and returned to Washington, D.C. reporting on December 11, 1920 to Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. Lejeune entrusted Ellis to head the intelligence section of the newly established Division of Operations and Training (DOT) at the Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), officially holding his billet on December 23, 1920. In his tenure, he had prepared an essay regarding the details of military and civil operations that are required in eradicating the subversion and insurgency, titled "Bush Brigades". Although it was printed, it was it was considered controversial due to the incidences pertaining to Major General Littleton Waller's executing that occurred just before Ellis was posted in Cavite, and in Les Cayes when Marines killed ten peasants in Haiti. [Official Report; "Haiti and Dominican Republic Military Occupation and Administration by the U.S.", U.S. congress, Senate, 66th Cong., 3rd sess., 1920, documents 204-0-A and 204-0-B] Thus, "Bush Brigades" was never officially published due to the sake of tarnishing the U.S. and President Harding.

It was towards the end of 1920 that Major General John A. Lejeune and his senior officer of his staff focused on war planning in the events of any hostilities that may occur in the Pacific against Imperial Japan, revising the War Plan Orange; which implemented the study of the Marine Corps' role in amphibious operations. Ellis produced the prophetic document, "Operation Plan 712 - Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia", which underlined that in the events of hostilities of Japan, advanced bases would be required to support the fleet. To include that the Territory of Hawaii constituted the 'only' support for the United States Navy due to the lack of facilities in the Philippines and Guam. In since, Japan has already occupied the Marshall, Caroline, and the Palau Islands, which flanked the U.S. lines of communications in the region by more than 2,300 miles. Ellis's conclusion in his document predicted that Japan will initiate the war, and furthermore indicating that Japan would stay near their own territorial waters until encountered by the U.S. fleet. He also added that great losses to the Marine forces would occur during the amphibious assault in what he termed "ship-shore belt". He advised the war planners to avoid 'blue-water' transfers, to form task forces prior to leaving base ports, and not to divide units up among several transports. [Earl H. Ellis, "Operation Plan 712J - Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia" (confidential), 23 Jul 1921; Ellis's biographical file, MCHC, and the Research Center, Marine Corps University, Quantico.]

:"...a major fleet action would decide the war in the Pacific; the U.S. fleet would be 25 percent superior to that of the enemy; the enemy would hold his main fleet within his defense line; fleet unites must be husbanded; preliminary activities of the U.S fleet must be accomplished with a minimum of assets; Marine Corps forces must be self-sustaining; long, drawn-out operations must be avoided to afford the greatest protection to the fleet; sea objectives must include a fleet anchorage. [Earl H. Ellis, "Operation Plan 712J - Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia" (confidential), 23 Jul 1921; Ellis's biographical file, MCHC, and the Research Center, Marine Corps University, Quantico.]

On April 9, 1921, Ellis submitted a pro forma request to the Commandant to conduct a clandestine reconnaissance mission to the Central Pacific to examine the Marshall and Caroline Islands. He requested that he will have to obtain an 'undated resignation', to travel as a civilian, and whatever may deem necessary to ensure that the United States will not become embarrassed of such operations. However, shortly after, he had suffered another carouse of neurasthenia and eventually recovered. On May 4, 1921, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the request [LtGen Thomas Holcomb to Adm. Harold R. Stark, 7 Jun 1942, folder 10, HOlcomb MSS, MCHC. The oral history of Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., one of Lejuene's aide-de-camp at the time, is silent on the subject; Benis M. Frank, oral history, 1967, MCHC] as the acting Secretary of the Navy, Ellis stood detached from the hospital the same day, reporting to the Commandant at Headquarters Marine Corps.

The request came about when Ellis first submitted it to his 'first' of his chain-of-command, Brigadier General Logan Feland, whose approval was sine qua non before it even reached the desks of Major Generals Asst. Commandant Wendell C. Neville and Commandant John A. Lejeune. The submittal corresponded ostensibly that he were to travel to Europe on a 3-month leave. Such approval had to be sought out by the higher echelon of the Headquarters Marine Corps by the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Veazie Pratt, who in turn brought the matter to the Office of Naval Intelligence. To cover the identify of having an Intelligence Officer abroad on such a mission, Ellis turned to John A. Hughes, who was commissioned among the ranks as Ellis back in 1902. Hughes was medically retired in 1920 due to injuries sustained in combat and joined his father's business in the import-export business, Hughes Trading Company. Ellis became a representative of the company to suit the convenience of his mission. After a brief visit home in Kansas, he sojourned to San Francisco on May 28, 1921 inbound to New Zealand] and Australia via American President Lines, arriving on September 28, 1921.

Subsequently, he was hospitalized in Manila, Philippines due to acute "nephritis", an inflammation of the kidneys. After his discharge from the hospital, he departed to Yokohama, Japan to arrange a visa and authorization to travel to the mandated islands of the Carolines and the Marshalls, following a request he had sent to the Japanese Consulate at the Japanese Foreign Office in Tokyo, Japan. As Ellis's drinking habits continued to grow, he had impulsively disclosed to civilians of his apparent classified mission, to include the physicians when he was hospitalized again on September 1, 1922 while his debilitating illness of neurasthenia recurred. Orders by the local naval attaché were issued to Ellis to return home on the next available transport back to the states. [Ulysses S. Webb to the SecNav, 7 Oct 1922; Ellis's biographical file, MCHC] He deliberately ignored them and cabled for a draft of one thousand dollars and departed to Saipan.

As he arrived to Saipan at the Tanapag Harbor, he checked into a hotel in Garapan with intentions that he was to stay for a while as he would scout the Mariana Islands, which at that time Japan was using as a central hub of their activities in Micronesia. All in the while, the ONI tracked his whereabouts by the withdrawals Ellis made, from a special bank account that they established to fund his covert objectives. [Commandant, Twelth Naval District, San Francisco, to Director, ONI, 20 Nov 1922 and 8 Jan 1923; file 20996-3313, Entry 70A, RG 38, NARA] His presence began to gain attention by the Japanese authorities who tailed his move from this moment on. A friend of Ellis, Kilili Sablan, who he contact upon his arrival to the island, suggested that he should check out of his hotel and live with his family. For the next three weeks traveling in and through Saipan, he produced detailed maps and charts. By December 3, 1922, he boarded the ship "Matsuyama Maru" to the islands of the Carolines, Marshalls, Yap, and the Palaus. He checked into a hotel in Koror then aboarded the "Matsuyama Maru" once again to Truk, although he was unable to survey this island due to the Japanese authorities denying foreigners passage. The Japanese authorities continued to convey suspicion to Ellis.

During a trip from Kusaie to Jaluit, Ellis became ill aboard the "Matsuyama Maru" and was again hospitalized. After his recovery in January 1923, he continued to survey the Marshalls, Kwajalein, Ponape, Celebes, and New Guinea. While staying on Koror, he met a Palauan woman named Metauie, who became his wife. By then, he had a coterie of native boys who would obtain his alcohol for him. One day, he looted the home of William Gibbons, a local friend who introduced him to Ellis's wife, in search of alcohol. The Japanese police resolved the problem by delivering two bottles of whiskey to the Marine to which he profusely drank; later the same day, Ellis died on May 12, 1923.

Ellis' Death

Lieutenant Colonel Ellis died under mysterious circumstances on the Japanese-held island of Palau in the Caroline Islands. In contemporary newspaper accounts and in later years, numerous conspiracy theorists alleged that Ellis was assassinated by Japanese military authorities; however, detractors of such theories note that Ellis was known to have a severe drinking problem and likely died from an alcohol-related illness such as cirrhosis of the liver. Ellis's official medical records indicate that not long before his death, he was admitted to a naval hospital for treatment of "delirium tremens" and hallucinations.Ballendorf (2002), "Earl Hancock Ellis: A Marine in Micronesia", p. 13.] Ellis had also tendered his undated resignation as a Marine officer shortly before leaving for Palau, in order that he might prevent embarrassment or undue suspicion from falling upon the United States or the Marine Corps should his mission be compromised. An alternate opinion, expressed by researcher Dirk Anthony Ballendorf, is that Ellis' resignation, along with the tremors and hallucinations, are attributable to depression and alcoholism. Ballendorf writes:

:"That the Japanese would have placed poison in his whiskey is unlikely since, for Ellis whiskey itself was poison enough."Dirk A. Ballendorf, "Earl Hancock Ellis: A Marine in Micronesia", pg. 13-14.]

Complicating the matter further, the agent sent to investigate the circumstances of Ellis' demise died in a freak accident, and with him expired the only outside eyewitness knowledge as to the state of Ellis's corpse before it was cremated. Chief Pharmacist Lawrence Zembsch — who had treated Ellis during his hospitalization — travelled on a Japanese steamer to Palau, where he stayed at the Japanese officer's barracks (Ellis had stayed with native Palauan nobility and married a young Palauan "chefress"). After talking to Japanese authorities who had dealings with Ellis (including the medical officer), Zembsch witnessed and photographed the exhumation of Ellis's body and its cremation, taking custody of the remains when this was completed. Zembsch suffered a nervous breakdown on the return voyage and was admitted to a hospital in Yokohama, which was soon after buried by falling rubble in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.

In the end, Ellis's maps and papers were confiscated by Japanese authorities. An inquiry undertaken at the behest of General Douglas MacArthur after the war found no trace of any of Ellis's effects, nor a report on Ellis's activities by the Japanese governor of the island. It is not clear how competently Ellis performed his map-making and analysis, given his demonstrated instability in the final months of his life. The Japanese had not yet begun fortifying Palau during his sojourn there, but had Ellis survived, it is surmised that he would have completed addenda to "Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia" that would have presumably provided military authorities with "...useful..." information on the potential military uses of the islands. In any case, Ellis's overall strategic concerns remain valid in the light of later events. Ellis is remembered today for his military intelligence work and for accurately predicting the bloody Pacific War two decades before it began.

ee also



:Marine Corps
*cite journal
author=Ballendorf, Dirk Anthony
title="Earl Hancock Ellis: A Marine in Micronesia"
journal=Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
volume=1 |issue=1-2
month=December | year=2002

*cite web|accessdate=2007-11-18
title=Lieutenant Colonel Earl Hancock Ellis
work=Who's Who in Marine Corps History
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps

Further reading

*Ballendorf, Dirk Anthony, "Earl Hancock Ellis: A Final Assessment", Marine Corps Gazette, Vol. 74, pp. 78-87, Nov. 1990.
*Ballendorf, Dirk Anthony & Bartlett, Merrill, "Pete Ellis: An Amphibious Warfare Prophet, 1880-1923", Annapolis, MD, Naval Institute Press, 1997.

External links

* [https://wrc.navair-rdte.navy.mil/warfighter_enc/History/bios/ellis.htm Warfighter's Encyclopedia bio]
* [http://honeyandlace.blogspot.com/2006/07/lieutenant-colonel-earl-h-ellis.html Without Him Would We Have Won the War in the Pacific]
* [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/ehellis.htm Earl H. Ellis, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps ] at www.arlingtoncemetery.net
* [http://www.answers.com/topic/pete-ellis-1 Pete Ellis: Definition and Much More from Answers.com ] at www.answers.com
* [http://cache.search.yahoo-ht2.akadns.net/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=Earl+Hancock+Ellis&fr=yfp-t-501&u=marshall.csu.edu.au/MJHSS/Issue2002/MJHSS02-03.pdf&w=earl+hancock+ellis&d=I0hvJS72Q9Fk&icp=1&.intl=us| Marshall Islands/Incronesian]
* [http://intellit.muskingum.edu/milintel_folder/mimarines_folder/mimarinesinter.html| Military Intelligence]
* [http://www.archives.gov National Archives and Records Administration ] at www.archives.gov - National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
* [http://www.archives.gov/frc/ National Archives Federal Records Center ] at www.archives.gov - Federal Records Center (FRC)
* [http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/ United States Marine Corps History Division ] at www.tecom.usmc.mil - Marine Corps Historical Center (MCHC)
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/ref/AdvBaseOps/index.html HyperWar: Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia ] at www.ibiblio.org - "Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia"

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