James Borden Eller was born in Akron, Ohio, on February 8, 1933, son of Elmer E. and Leila G. (Borden) Eller. He attended George Williams College, Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Enlisting in the US Naval Reserve, he had recruit training at the US Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois from March to May 1956. He next had instruction at the Officer Candidate School, Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island, and on October 12, 1956 was commissioned Ensign, USNR. Advancing in rank, he subsequently attained that of Commander, to date from September 1, 1969, having transferred from the Reserve to Regular Navy on January 17, 1961.
After receiving his commission in 1956, he remained at the Naval Station, Newport, for instruction in communications until December of that year. Assigned to Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, he was Port Control Officer until June 1959, when he joined USS Los Angeles (CA-135) as Fist Lieutenant. In July 1961 he reported as Operations Officer of USS Braine (DD-630), and while on board that destroyer, also served as Navigator.
During the period September 1962 to July 1964 he was Executive Officer and Navigator of USS Falgout (DER-324), and in August that year reported for instruction at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, from which he received the degree of Master of Science in Public Relations in August 1965. He headed the Naval Reserve Training Branch, Internal Relations Division, Office of Information, Navy Department, Washington, DC, from September 1965 until June 1966, after which he served as Public Affairs Officer on the Staff of Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. He was detached in June 1968 for duty as Executive Officer of USS Davis (DD-937) until November 1969 after which he commanded the Fourth Riverine Advisors, Naval Advisory Group/Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
He returned to the United States and after instruction at the Defense Language Institute, East Coast, Washington, DC. reported in July 1971 as Assistant Chief of the Navy Section, Joint US Military Group/Military Assistance Advisory Group, Spain, with headquarters in Madrid.
He is a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and Tau Mu Epsilon, a public relations fraternity.
He died December 20, 1992.