Sgt. Ellis P. Savoie Jr, Engineer and Gunner
Survived by his nieces Carolyn and Patty
Ellis Paul Savoie Jr. was born in Louisa, Louisiana, near Cypermore Point, on February 19, 1920. The 1930 Federal Census below lists the father, Ellis Sr., the mother, Louise, and the three sons, Horace, the oldest, Ellis Jr., and Ernest, the youngest at that time.
The father, Ellis Sr., was the Chief Engineer at a sugar factory. He studied through the mail and earned degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering as this was the only practical way to get a degree in the 1920's in a small country town in Louisiana. Ellis Sr. was very smart, and that got passed on to Ellis Jr.
On November 17, 1941, Ellis Jr. enlisted for World War 2 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He was single, 21 years old, had graduated from high school, and was working as a machinist, like his father.
One can get a real sense of Ellis Savoie's personality when examining his reaction to the bombing of Regensburg on August 17, 1943. This mission was also known as the North African Shuttle, in which the Rum Boogie was one of only 146 planes to make that run. There were a lot of problems for many of the B-17's on that mission including bad weather for take-off, a shortage of fuel, and a lack of fighter escort. But when they reached the aircraft plant target, you can hear the wonder then excitement at what Ellis saw:
Pilot Jim Sanders' engineer aboard Rum Boogie, T/S Ellis Savoie, takes up the tale. "Finally at 12:10 we sight the target. That's funny; very little flak. Maybe they don't expect us this far in. Bomb-bay doors coming open. There they go! -- Oh, baby, we parted their hair that time! There she goes, the whole damn works! A beautiful hit. A smackeroo! . . . On our way out now. At the Alps we make a 360 so the back formations can catch up . . ."
(quote courtesy of Snetterton Falcons)
Ellis' flight home from Scotland to New York
After the war, Ellis returned to New Orleans and lived there all of his life. He married Mary Cacioppo and adopted her son Tommy. Ellis became a machinist, like his father, and worked for Continental Can Company, which made bottle caps for soft drinks. As a tool and die maker, he was awarded $6,500 for a suggestion he made which resulted in improved quality and increased manufacturing efficiency in the production of bottle caps. Later, he received a second award for $10,000. Ellis was very inventive. Carolyn C. describes her Godfather as an extremely smart man who was also happy go lucky and would help anyone in trouble.
Left to Right: Ellis Jr., his youngest brother Walter, his dad Ellis Sr., his sister Melba, the youngest, his middle brother Ernest, and his other brother Horace
Love this picture of Ellis (middle) and his two brothers.
Ellis' wife Mary died on October 7, 1992. She was buried in Pompeii Cemetary in Tickfaw Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Ellis died eight years later on January 19, 2000, from smoking, which he had started doing during the war. He was cremated, and his ashes were spread on Mary's grave.