When individuals consider WWII Marines, they in all probability consider John Basilone, “Pet” Boynton, or Chesty Puller. Not dangerous. Probably attributable to Ellis’ demise in 1923, he was all in regards to the coming conflict with Japan, from the assault on Pearl Harbor to the marketing campaign to the islands that led to Japan’s eventual defeat. must be counted as a result of it was precisely predicted.

Ellis was impressed to affix the Marine Corps after studying in regards to the 1st Marine Battalion throughout the Spanish-American Battle. He enlisted as a Personal in his 1900 and obtained navy coaching from Civil Battle veterans. He labored to take the checks accessible to non-commissioned officers in order that they may obtain commissions. He handed his exams and by 1902 was a second lieutenant stationed within the Philippines.

Ellis rose by means of the ranks over the following few years, holding small instructions within the Pacific Fleet, China, Japan, and Washington earlier than returning to the Philippines to serve underneath then-Lieutenant Commander. John Lejeune. In 1911, Ellis discovered himself serving as an intelligence officer underneath George Barnett, who would later develop into the twelfth Commander of the Marine Corps. Espionage is the place Ellis left his mark on historical past, however World Battle I interrupted his work.

After the US entered World Battle I and the Marines had been despatched overseas, Ellis performed a key function in planning the St. Michael Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, each of which had been Allied victories. Though he left the conflict with the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Cross and the French Legion d’Honneur, he was nonetheless an intelligence officer and the Navy had a mission for him.

Earl Hancock “Pete” Ellis. we. Navy)

He was despatched to the Dominican Republic to provide you with a solution to finish the riots there. On the Mexican border, Ellis assessed the opportunity of German brokers seizing Mexican oil fields. In 1920, with a brand new empire rising within the Pacific, the Marines wished to know what to do within the occasion of a conflict with the Empire of Japan. They despatched Pete Ellis to seek out out.

Ellis labored across the clock on initiatives and slept little or no, and his appreciation of the Japanese was no exception. He left for the Marshall Islands and the Caroline Islands, which on the time (together with Peleliu) had been occupied by Japan. Posing as an import director for his father’s firm, he traveled to Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and even Yokohama, Japan, looking for entry to the Marshall Islands.

Though the Japanese suspected him of intelligence work, Ellis nonetheless reached Saipan within the Mariana Islands, and ultimately reached Caroline, Marshall, and even Peleliu. I additionally visited New Guinea. Japanese intelligence adopted him wherever he went, and when he helped the crew of a civilian ship throughout a storm, they knew he was in naval intelligence.

When Ellis arrived in Palau, he was significantly unwell. For many of his profession, Ellis was an alcoholic. His alcoholism signs lastly caught up with him in Palau. Regardless of his worsening situation, he refused to cease ingesting. Japanese police are properly conscious of his dependancy and he despatched two bottles of whiskey. Ellis died after ingesting whiskey, however his work was accomplished.

Earlier than Ellis died, he accomplished Operation Plan 712: Superior Base Operations in Micronesia. This was the plan the People used to defeat Japan in World Battle II. Twenty-one years later, this piece makes Eris seem like a prophet.

The introduction of the plan said that “the bases west of Hawaii can’t be anticipated for use aside from what they may seize from the enemy after the graduation of hostilities… , striving to position his major fleet in house waters and, with torpedoes, mines, and plane, to scale back our superiority to the extent that he believes the actions of the primary fleet may be safely endangered. Please give me.”

extent of Japanese occupation. Most of the names match Ellis’ predictions. (Nationwide World Battle II Museum)

In describing the enemy, he referred to the US’ post-World Battle I coverage of non-aggression, stating that Japan would undoubtedly strike first, believing it might defeat the American fleet. Japan would additionally defend sure factors and bases in any respect prices, he mentioned, and people factors had been probably the most precious to the U.S., concentrating on Guam, Iwo Jima, Saipan and different Japanese bases. I foresee a method surrounding the American islands.

After Ellis died, he was buried in Palau, however Marines traveled to the island, exhumed his physique, and cremated his physique. His urn ultimately returned to the US and was buried in Ellis’ hometown of Pratt, Kansas. In 2004, his stays had been moved to Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

— Blake Stilwell may be reached at blake.stilwell@navy.com.You too can discover him on Twitter @Blake Stillwell or on fb.

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