Robert Lee Ely was born 14 December 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was wounded in action on 6 June 1918 and died of his wounds on 20 June. He went missing on that date at Belleau Wood, France. He is commemorated at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery in France.
Private Ely enlisted in the marines in Chattanooga on December 14, 1917.