Major General Elbert L. Ford was born in Connecticut on December 2, 1892 and graduated from the United States Military Academy as a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps on 20 April 1917.
His distinguished military career spanned a period of more than 36 years (1917-1953) and included service during three wars. In June 1942, General Ford was assigned to the Ordnance Section, Headquarters, Services of Supply, in the European Theater of Operations and the following September was named Chief Ordnance Officer of Allied Forces Headquarters.
He moved to North Africa in November 1942 and served in this capacity until February 1943, when he was designated Chief of Staff, Headquarters, North African Theater of Operations. He returned to the United States in May 1944 to become Chief of the Stock Control Branch, Field Services Division, Office Chief of Ordnance, Washington, DC.
The following month he was made Chief of the Reclamation and Maintenance Branch, Field Services Division, in the Office Chief of Ordnance. He went to Europe in July 1946 as Chief of Ordnance of the U.S. Forces in the European Theater.
He returned to the United States in June 1948 to become Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. During the period November 1, 1949 through October 31, 1953, he was Chief of the Ordnance Department.
The Korean Conflict began 8 months into his tenure. His incomparable service as Chief of the Ordnance Department/Corps during the Korean Conflict mark the apex of his career. His unparalleled efforts during this national crisis provided the leadership, guidance, and inspiration, which ultimately was responsible for the transformation of this country's industrial base from a peacetime environment into a war-supporting capability. General Ford died in Washington, D.C. on February 25, 1990.