From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dale Ellis '52

Date of birth: July 30, 1929

Date of death: June 3, 1954

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1952 Lucky Bag:


Dale was lost on June 3, 1954 when the helicopter he was copiloting crashed about three miles from La Testa, France. The three other men aboard were also killed. He was a member of the 83rd Air Rescue Squadron.

He is buried in Florida.


From researcher Kathy Franz:

Dale attended schools in Lake Worth, Florida, and graduated from Key West in 1948. In October 1946, he wrote the best essay and was chosen commander for Navy Day.

From the Miami Herald on October 24, 1946:

The envy of all Key West youngsters, Dale Ellis, 17-year-old Key West High school senior, will command the submarine Corporal Saturday.

Dale also will be aboard the undersea craft when it submerges Sunday in nearby waters to give the sea floral pieces in tribute to those Key West youths who lost their lives in the Navy in the last two World Wars. The flowers will be placed on the deck of the submarine by relatives of those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

Dale earned the right to command the Corporal by writing the best essay on “Our Navy – Victor in War, Guardian in Peace.”

When he reports aboard the Corporal immediately after the parade Saturday morning, he will relieve Comdr. Franklin G. Hess, USN, [Class of 1935] a Naval submarine hero, of command of the undersea craft. Mock ceremonies have been arranged.

His ambition? It would be a crowning achievement of his life if he could obtain an appointment to the Naval academy.

After high school, Dale enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at Jacksonville and sent to the electronics school at the base at Memphis, Tennessee. He received his Naval Academy appointment through the ranks and by competitive examination.

He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1952 and reported for duty in Germany on November 18, 1953.

He was survived by his wife Evelyn, mother Mildred, sister Jo, brothers Richard Jr. (USN, Guam,) James (USN, Velassio, California,) Jack (USN, Alaska,) and William Dale, and his aunt Mrs. William Wilderotter.

His father Richard predeceased him. He served with the Navy in WWI and was a former commander of Carl Vogel Donald Lee Post 47, American Legion. During WWII, he was civilian employe at the Key West Submarine Base.

Memorial Hall Error

Dale is not listed with his classmates. This oversight was discovered by reviewing the October 1965 issue of Shipmate.

There is no indication of why his loss wasn't reported for 11 years. The report is also wrong; gives date of loss as "November 1953." The Register of Alumni gives only his name and "11/83" (note typo).

Class of 1952

John is one of 50 members of the Class of 1952 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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