Born: Rockland, Maine, April 9, 1933
Arthur James Elliot was the oldest of three boys. His two brothers are John A. Elliot, who is married and lives in Thomaston, Maine, and George, also married and living in Nashville, Tennessee. George served in the Navy as an enlisted man aboard the USS SACRAMENTO (AOE-1).
LCDR Elliot never married. In addition to his brothers, he is survived by his parents Albert B. and Helen M. Elliot. They live in Thomaston, Maine, which is a town of about 3,000 people.
Elliot was about six feet tall, light hair and a high school athlete who played both basketball and baseball. He graduated from Thomaston High School in 1950 and worked for a year before entering Gorham State Teachers College, Gorham, Maine. In college he majored in industrial arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1955. He was a good student in college where he played intramural sports and was president of his fraternity.
Elliot's grandfather and father were part owners and operators of a small shipyard -- Dunn & Elliot in Thomaston, Maine. The grandfather was a sea captain who skippered a four master schooner carrying general cargo. As a boy, Elliot worked in the shipyard that builds, stores and services small wooden fishing and pleasure boats. He loved the sea and was taught to sail and fish by his father and grandfather. During the summers, Elliot worked as a counselor at a boys camp and taught sailing to the youngsters.
After graduation from college, he taught industrial arts at high school in Augusta, Maine for one year. After repeated attempts to enter the Navy Officers Candidate School (OCS), he finally received a waiver on his eyesight and was accepted into OCS June 1956. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Reserve October 12, 1956. Upon graduation from OCS at Newport, he was assigned to the USS LYMAN K. SWENSON (DD 729) in the engineering department.
He served in LYMAN K. SWENSON for two years, nine months where he qualified as officer of the deck and filled billets as anti-submarine warfare officer, gunnery officer, damage control and electrical officer. During this period, he was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade).
Elliot resigned from the Navy August 9, 1959 to take a position as an industrial arts instructor in a new high school that was just opening in Augusta, Maine. However, he did remain active in the Naval Reserve.
Less than a year later, he volunteered for return to active duty and was accepted on May 5, 1960. Aboard the LITTLE ROCK in the Atlantic Fleet, he participated in Sixth Fleet exercises in the Mediterranean and was promoted to Lieutenant. His duties included those of CIC Officer.
In July 1962 he was assigned as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral William D. Irwin and Rear Admiral Redfield Mason at Commander, Service Forces, Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor. While he did not like all the pomp and ceremonies attached to this duty, he remained at this post until assigned to the USS JOHN KING (DDG 3) in September 1965. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, Elliot became the ship's Operations Officer and served in JOHN KING in the Atlantic Fleet until December 1967.
He volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was named commanding officer of PBR (Patrol Boat River) Squadron 57 in the Mekong area in January 1968. He served in this capacity until killed in action on December 29, 1968. The citations for the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal give a description of his combat experience. Besides these two awards, Elliot also holds the Purple Heart, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, National Order of Vietnam (5th Class), Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, and the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Medal.