Paul Bush Ellis was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on April 11, 1915, son of Earl P. and Lida A. (Benneson) Ellis, both now deceased. He attended Southeast Missouri State Teachers College in Cape Girardeau for two years, and was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Missouri School of Mines and Metalurgy [sic], at Rolla, Missouri in 1937. In college he played basketball and tennis, and was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.
Entering Naval Service as an Aviation Cadet on June 6, 1937, he was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve to date from September 1, 1938, and designated Naval Aviator on October 1, 1938. He subsequently advanced to the rank of Commander, to date from November 5, 1945, and transferred to the US Navy in 1946.
Upon completion of flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, in October 1938, he was assigned to Scouting Squadron 5, the aviation unit of the heavy cruiser Portland, in which he served until November 1940. From December of that year until April 1943 he served as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Station, Grosso Ile, Michigan, and for four months thereafter he was a student in Operation Training at Lake City, Florida. He then had duty until December 1944 with Patrol Squadron 147, first as Executive Officer, and the last six months as Commanding Officer.
In January 1945 he reported to Headquarters Squadron ELEVEN as Executive Officer, and from June to October of that year was in command of that squadron. He next served for five months in the Power Plants Division of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC, after which he was a student at the General Line School, Newport, Rhode Island, for a year. From July 1947 until January 1949 he served as Chief Projects Officer, Service Test, at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland.
He assumed command of Fleet Air Service Squadron 106 in January 1949, and remained in command of that squadron based at the Naval Air Station, Argentia, Newfoundland, until August 1950. Returning to the United States, he again reported to the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, where from October 1950 he has served as Head of the Safety Equipment Branch, Airborne Equipment Division.
Commander Ellis has the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.