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Tex Ellison, NASFL, Navy, pilot, commander, Allan McElhiney


Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Senior Flight Instructor

Capt. Thomas B. “Tex” Ellison was the uncle of former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. Ellison was born July 28, 1914, in Nixon, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1938 with a BBA. Tex joined the U.S. Navy as an aviator and served his country for 32 years before retiring in 1970.

While at NASFL, Tex instructed many students including former President George H.W. Bush. Ellison then returned with “Squadron Able” to Japan, for further combat. All planes returned safely. Ellison was the recipient of numerous awards, medals, and honors including the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, five Air Medals, and the Meritorious Service Medal for his work with NATO. All his medals and four Aviator Flight logbooks comprising his military career from 1939 to the late 1960s are on display at our Museum. Capt Ellison passed away at 91 years old on November 30th, 2005 in Pensacola, Florida. He was one of America's finest.

Allan McElhiney was born November 9, 1925, to Allan and Ruth McElhiney in Lynn, Massachusetts. His father was a Marine who served in World War I. Allan has three brothers, all of whom served in the military, and one sister. On Allan's 17th birthday, his parents signed his papers to join the Navy. Beginning in 1944, he served on convoy duty on the Patrol Frigate USS Asheville PF-1 based at Port Everglades. Allan McElhiney received the World War II Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. After World War II while in the Reserves, he was called to active duty for the Korean Conflict, back aboard the USS Asheville. After his discharge from the Navy, like many veterans who had spent time or heard stories of our area, Allan moved with his wife Carolyn and five children to Fort Lauderdale. He started a wall-covering business with contracts up and down the East Coast as well as the Bahamas. In the 1970's he joined the Navy League, and later became chairman of the Sea Cadet Program.

In 1979, Allan, along with military friends Ben Langley MCB7, Army Col. Robert Rawls, Chief Stephen Sedillo USCG, and a handful of history enthusiasts and supporters, established the 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Historical Association. Their main mission was to save from demolition at least one of the buildings from the former WWII Fort Lauderdale naval base. The group worked tirelessly for many years, and finally on May 20th of 1998, they were successful in registering Building #8 "The Link Trainer Building" on the National Register of Historic Places. In December 1999 after much work and preparation-- and joining in their preservation cause-- was Broward County Commissioner Lori Nance Parrish, whose father W.A. Nance, Jr. served in the Navy during WWII. Lori was able to locate a $200,000 grant from the Transportation Department, and just in time, the building was officially saved and moved to its permanent location at 4000 West Perimeter Road.

Restoration has continued since, to complete Allan's dream of a permanent place (Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum), to honor the service and sacrifices of those who trained here during World War II. In the course of more than 30 years, McElhiney compiled a vast amount of documents, photographs, articles, and artifacts that are on display at the Museum. He did all this without pay, with the help from members and volunteers. This World War II collection continues to grow daily, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, museum members and benefactors.

Beginning on December 5, 1989, Allan presided over the Flight 19 Memorial Ceremony-- originally celebrated at Navy Park, and more recently in the Museum building. This annual ceremony is open to the public. In December 2011, Allan McElhiney was inducted as a Broward County Pioneer, and was also awarded the Broward Navy Days Freedom Award for 2012. On December 5, 2013, he was honored with a Proclamation "The Allan McElhiney Day in Broward County" by Commissioner Chip LaMarca.


Date Digital



color photographic print

Digital Collection

WWII Heros


Tex Ellison, NASFL, Navy, pilot, commander, Allan McElhiney