John Cooley Ellison
Captain, United States Navy
John Cooley Ellison was born on December 16, 1928 and joined the Armed Forces while in Layton, Utah.
He served as an aviator in the United States Navy, VA 85, and attained the rank of Captain.
John Cooley Ellison is listed as Missing in Action.
There is a "In Memory Of" stone in his name
in Arlington National Cemetery.
The families of Ellison and Plowman wonder
what happened to their men that day. There is no indication that they died
when their plane disappeared, and unofficial reports that they have been
unable to verify suggest that one or both may have been captured. A photo
of a POW in the front of a march conducted in China was identified by Navy
officer and returned POW Robert Flynn who was released by the Chinese in
1973 as being James E. Plowman. Flynn also saw a photo of Ellison while
held in China. Plowman's wife identified him from a North Vietnamese photo
just prior to December 1970, and his parents identified him from a 1967
North Vietnamese photo. After Seaman Douglas Hegdahl was released from
Hanoi in 1969, he told family members of Buzz Ellison that he had seen
Buzz. Ellison and Plowman were maintained throughout the war as Missing
In Action. Even though there seems to be some doubt that the two died and
that they may have been prisoners after all, their status was never changed,
and by 1980, they had been declared administratively dead. Although evidence
existed that China held prisoners from the Korean conflict and the Vietnam
war, the U.S. rushed towards friendly relations with that country, ignoring
their best men. Today, there is evidence that Vietnam is holding hundreds
of prisoners from the war in Vietnam, yet the U.S. is again signing the
death warrants of her best men in the rush for normalization of relations.