Ellingsworth, Walton Marshall
First and Middle Name
Walton Ellingsworth was completing his last semester at VPI when the United States entered the war. Just days after he graduated he joined the Army, boarded a train, and entered officer training in May 1917. A year later, in May 1918, Ellingsworth and his unit arrived in France and quickly joined the Allied offensive along the Aisne and Marne rivers.
Soissons, a French town located along the Aisne River, was one of the most seriously affected towns during World War I. The town, being only miles away from German trenches, was heavily bombarded throughout the war. When the town was captured by German forces in the spring of 1918, French and American units were sent to the area to recapture it that July.
Ellingsworth’s unit, the 12th Field Artillery, was among the American troops dispatched to recapture the town. On July 18, twenty-four French divisions, alongside two American divisions, launched an all out assault upon German positions in the town. American troops who attacked Soissons described passing through gas, artillery bombardments, and withering machine gun fire. It was here, on July 21, that Ellingsworth, in the face of constant attack, held his ground. He commanded his battalion to continue firing upon German positions to support advancing American Marines.
For his actions in the Battle of Soissons, Ellingsworth received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and the Croix de Guerre. Ellingsworth went on to serve with the 12th Field Artillery for the entirety of the war, fighting in the St. Mihiel Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Walton Ellingsworth returned to the United States and married Margaret Parker, with whom he had a son in 1920. Ellingsworth moved to Alabama where he worked as a civil engineer. He died on April 7, 1982.
Nicknames or Other Names
Cause of Death
Place of Death
VPI Graduating Class
Decorations or Citations
Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Croix de Guerre
Citation from Major General LeJeune, CG of 2nd Division: "He [Ellingsworth] performed his duties as Reconnaissance Officer and Observation Officer under heavy shell fire with great courage and coolness, and aided materially in the efficient firing of his battalion"
Silver Star citation: "By constant and faithful attention to duty in the face of the most trying hardships and exposure to both element and hostile fire, rendered valuable service to his country during the recent engagements with the enemy"
Battles or Engagements
1927 "Virginia Polytehnic Institute in the World War" booklet
This item has no relations.