Private First Class Jesse Leonard Ellis was born on August 22, 1948, and was originally from Elyria, Ohio. He served his country in the Vietnam War in the United States Army, as an infantryman in B Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade. His tour in Vietnam began on November 22, 1968. On January 29, 1969, PFC Ellis was killed under hostile conditions in Binh Duong province, South Vietnam; he was 20 years old at the time of his death. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star medal and Purple Heart. PFC Ellis is buried at Shoffner Cemetery in Harrogate, Tennessee, and is memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 33W, Line 18.

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