Ellingsworth, Walton Marshall

Title

Ellingsworth, Walton Marshall

Last Name

Ellingsworth

First and Middle Name

Walton Marshall

Biographical Text

“He 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.”
-Citation from General Preston Brown regarding 1st Lieutenant Walton Ellingsworth’s bravery during the Battle of Soissons

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

"Cabbage"

Hometown

Norfolk, VA

Birth Date

6/21/1894

Birthplace

Norfolk, VA

Death Date

4/7/1982

Cause of Death

N/a

Place of Death

N/a

Parents

J Ellingsworth and Lulu Ellingsworth

Siblings

None

Spouse(s)

Margaret Ellingsworth

Children

Walter Marshall Ellingsworth Jr.

VPI Graduating Class

1917

Undergraduate Major

Mining Engineering

Graduated

Y

Service Branch

Army

Unit

Battery E, 12th Field Artillery, 2nd Division

Rank

First Lieutenant

Retired Rank

N/a

Military Events

Training May 1917

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

Aisne-Marne Offensive (fought at the Battle of Soissons)

Postwar Life

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.

Occupation

Construction Engineer

1927 "Virginia Polytehnic Institute in the World War" booklet

Y

Contributing Researchers

Daniel Newomb and Gregory Milhiser

Bibliography

1940 Federal Census

Files

Walton Marshall Ellingsworth from the 1917 Bugle (2).jpg
Walton Marshall Ellingsworth from the 1917 Bugle (3).jpg
Walton Marshall Ellingsworth from the 1917 Bugle.jpg
Citation from General Preston Brown regarding the actions of Walton Ellingsworth on July 21, 1918.jpg

Collection

Citation

“Ellingsworth, Walton Marshall,” VPI in World War One, accessed June 25, 2017, http://vpiworldwarone.lib.vt.edu/items/show/109.

Item Relations

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