Elliot Eaken was born to Constant M. and Margaret Elliot Eakin on February 2, 1918. The family lived in Manhattan for his early life, and his father worked at an electrics company. However, as the Great Depression hit, Elliot was sent to live with his maternal uncle in Rye. He lived with Uncle and Aunt, Chetwood and Julia Elliot, and their children Harry, John and Julia at 2 Stuyvesant Avenue. Elliot attended Milton School and graduated from Rye High School in 1935. In high school he was active in athletics and took a special interest in local civics, he was a member of the National Honor Society, stagecoach staff, and was Class Secretary. Elliot married Elizabeth Anne O’Brien in January of 1942 and set up a home at 35 Locust Avenue. He was then working as a salesman for an advertising company. In February 1942 Elliot enlisted with the US Army Corps. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and earned his pilot wings in June 1943. Elliot served with the 452nd Bomb Group, 730th Bomb Squadron of U.S. 8th Air Force. The squadron was first activated in June 1943 at Geiger Field, Washington as the 730th Bombardment Squadron, one of the four original squadrons of the 452d Bombardment Group. While waiting in Washington to be assigned a station, Elliot ran into a fellow Rye High School graduate and friend, Charles Moxhay. The two were eventually stationed in Britain together. Both would be assigned to the same crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress. The squadron established itself at RAF Deopham Green in January 1944, and began operations on 4 February 1944 with a strike on an aircraft assembly plant near Brunswick. Its strategic targets included railroad marshalling yards near Frankfurt, aircraft factories near Regensberg and Kassel. the ball bearing factory at Schweinfurt and an oil refinery near Bohlen. The 730th was occasionally diverted to support tactical operations. It hit airfields, V-weapon launching sites, bridges and other objectives in preparations for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. It bombed enemy positions to support Operation Cobra, the breakout at Saint Lo in July 1944 and the attacks on Brest, France in August. It supported Operation Market Garden, airborne attacks in the Netherlands in September and, during the Battle of the Bulge, struck German lines of communication. It struck an airfield to support Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine Mohay and Eakin's plane was named " Inside Curve " by the radio operator, John Sparky Collier, who was a big St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. Collier knew that the inside curve pitch in baseball was the hardest to hit so the crew agreed to affix the name to their plane. It flew in raids over Germany with a dedicated escort of fighter pilots. Plane #42-39973. Charles Moxhay served as the bombardier on the plane and Elliot Eakin was the pilot. Together they flew 30 missions and Moxhay would remember “I can remember at least five times when Eakin saved my life” and called him a “superlative” pilot. Lt. Eakin himself praised their crew for its individual expertise that slot together easily, “we developed a smooth working team that brought us through many a rough spot.” An Eighth AAF Bomber Station. England The Disinguished Flying Cross, one of the airmen's most, coveted awards, has been presented to 1st Lt, Elliot Eakin of Rye. N. Y., pilot of the Eighth AAF Flying Fortress, ''Inside Curve,'' for ''extraordinary achievement'' while participating in numerous combat missions over Germany and Nazi Europe. At the controls of ''Inside Curve,'' Lt. Eakin has taken part in six attacks on Berlin but regards the assault on the synthetic oil factory in Brux, Germany, as the roughest air battle of his career. ''About 200 enemy fighters jumped us,'' said the Rye youth. ''They came at us in groups of at least 50, making vicious head-on attacks, and blazing their way in until either hit by our gunners' fire or forced to turn to avoid collisions.'' The crew of ''Inside Curve'' claimed 5 fighters destroyed in 20 minutes during the attack. Lt. Eakin had the highest praise for every member of his crew. ''We found.'' he stated, ''that there is no substitute for individual responsibility. Each man was an expert at his own job and left free to handle it with a minimum of interference. ''With this as a basis,'' he added, ''we developed a smooth working team that brought us through many a rough spot.'' The crew saw flak put 39 holes in their ship in 29 missions, and then picked up over 50 flak holes in less than ten minutes over Berlin on their 30th sortie. ''But the old Fort brought us home in good shape,'' Lt. Eakin observed, ''even though she did look like something of a sieve.'' Lt. Eakin had a special word of praise for the fighter pilots that escort the Fortresses. ''We really like those boys,'' he stated, ''and have the greatest admiration for the way they will attack enemy fighters, no matter how great the odds. On one trip we saw 7 P-47s jump over 30 Nazi fighters and scatter them all over the -sky, shooting down several. Lt. Eakin's wife, Elizabeth, and son, Brian, live at 445 E. 65th Street, NewYork City. His aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Chetwood Elliot, live at Rye, N. Y the 1st Lieutenants Moxhay and Eakin were both awarded Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, for incredible heroism.
Elliot and Elizabeth welcomed a son, Brian, in 1944 and a daughter, Melissa, in 1961. They raised their family in Rye, at 111 Hix Avenue. Elliot was a member of the Rye Democratic Committee and later Chairman. He worked on the school board, and held a passion for the community. The family were members of The Coveleigh Club.
Elliot Eakin retired in Rye and passed January 12, 2010. He was predeceased by his wife and son and was survived by his daughter Melissa.
Rye High School, 2023