Master Sergeant Ernest Middleton Kelly, from Knoxville, was born on August 8, 1914. He was the brother of Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey D. Kelly, who also died in the line of duty. Sergeant Kelly was a member of the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy near Chochiwon, South Korea on July 12, 1950, forced to march to North Korea on the “Tiger Death March”, and died while on a train to Manpo, North Korea on September 6, 1950.
Master Sergeant Kelly was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
He entered the United States Army on February 24, 1941 and had served with the National Guard for a year prior to his enlistment. He served with the field artillery in World War II.
He was repatriated in February 1956 and buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.