Tom D. Ellison was born on August 14, 1925 in Sierra Blanca, Texas. He graduated high school early, at the age of 16, and, like many other young men in the wake of Pearl Harbor, was determined to join the war effort as soon as possible. To do so he needed the consent of both of his parents, but Tom’s father refused to sign the necessary paperwork, so Tom enlisted the day after his 17th birthday. Stationed in England, Tom served in the US Navy as an airplane mechanic from 1942 until 1946, during which time he maintained a regular correspondence with his family back home. His letters provide a surprisingly ordinary accounting of his activities and experiences. While in England, Tom met his wife, Jean. Jean, pregnant with their son, moved from England to Texas for Roger to be born a Texan. At the end of World War II, Tom was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he served until late summer of 1946.

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