Ellis, George

370th Regiment, 93rd Division, Black Devils
George Ellis

George Ellis was born 4-SEP 1893.  His mother was Aurelia Ellis and his father George Ellis.  He had three siblings.  The family lived in St. Charles on Kingshighway.  He entered the service 11-JUL 1918.  His serial number was 342328222.  He attained the rank of corporal.  George left for France from Hoboken NJ on 22-AUG 1918 aboard the troop ship Rijndam.  George served overseas from 21-AUG 1918 to 18-JUL 1919. He served in the 370th Replacement Regiment.

The 370th, 93rd Infantry Division is one of few African American regiments that served in combat in World War I and notably was the only regiment commanded entirely by black officers.  Few people know about this unit of young black men, which served alongside 1st Army during World War I.

The regiment fought in the battle of St. Mihiel, Argonne, and Soissons.  The regiment was nicknamed the blue hats and would wear the distinctive blue helmet patch denoting the wearing of French equipment during the war. Immediately upon the 370th’s return from France, the black communities of Chicago began fundraising to erect a monument to the 370th Regiment, “Black Devils.” The monument was completed in 1928 and dedicated on 11 November, Armistice Day.  George departed France aboard the ship Madawaska for home on 28-JUN 1919.  He was honorably discharged 18-JUL 1919.

According to the 1920 census, his occupation was listed as a shoemaker.  George Ellis died 19-SEP 1981 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Charles MO.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.