Ellsworth V. Kelley was born on 1 March 1920 in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio, to Vern Harrington Kelley (1890-1958) and Anna May (Bourne) Kelley (1895-1976). Sibling was John Edgar Kelley (1914-1990). He graduated from Newark High School in 1938. He married Susan Joy (Nethers) Kelley on 10 January 1943 in Licking Co., Ohio.


After enlisting in the USAAF on 21 May 1942, he was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to China in July 1944. On 31 August 1944 a B-24J, # 44-40831, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 375th Bomb Squadron, Chengkung, China, departed the airfield at Liuchow, for a mission to bomb shipping at Takao Harbor, Taiwan (Formosa). This B-24 and another were shot down and crashed into the Sea of Takao. All crewmen were killed in action. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. Crew remains were recovered in late 1990s from a 7,000 foot altitude Kitten Mountain the Guangxi Region, China, and were buried in a group ceremony and burial on 21 August 2000 in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Sec. 60, Grave 7927). A memorial marker in the Wilson Cemetery, Newark, Licking Co., Ohio. Another is in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.


His brother, John E. Kelley, born 19 July 1914, served in the U.S. Army from 14 October 1941 to 30 August 1945. He died 18 April 1990 and is buried in the Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newark, Licking Co., Ohio.