Historian opens door to Ellsworth past, future

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alessandra N. Hurley
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
With a welcoming southern loll, the 28th Bomb Wing historian calmly related his passion for uncovering treasures of buried facts and spoke about a familial, historical connection he shares with Ellsworth, Feb. 10.

Paul Marcello, who hails from Williamsburg, Va., began a new chapter in his life when he took over as the 28th Bomb Wing historian. As the base historian, he'll have the responsibility of capturing the wing's history and answering any questions Airmen and the community may have about Ellsworth's colorful past.

History is one of Mr. Marcello's passions and his career path was set when he was a young child rummaging around his grandfather's house.

"When I was a child, I found my grandfather's uniform and was immediately fascinated by the ribbons and patches," he said. "I wanted to learn what they meant. Since then, I've dedicated my life to learning all I can about the military and its unique past."

This same grandparent significantly links Mr. Marcello with Ellsworth.

"My grandfather, Al Marcello, is not only responsible for my interest in history, but it just so happens he was here at Ellsworth some 70 years ago to receive aircrew training before shipping out to England with the 100th Bomb Wing during World War II," the historian said. "It's almost like my coming here was meant to be."

Apart from connecting to the past, Mr. Marcello serves the community by documenting annual base activities for future generations.

"What I do today to record events around base benefits the people of tomorrow," he said. "When future generations are interested in knowing what the 28th BW was doing at this point in history, or they're researching a grandparent's military contributions, they can use the records I'm keeping now."

Mr. Marcello's record-keeping abilities were forged in college at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in history, specializing in military history. His knowledge also extends to firsthand experience.

The 28th BW historian served as a crew chief in the Air Force and worked on C- 130 Hercules and C-141 Starlifters while stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. As an Airman, he volunteered his spare time at museums and later worked in them full time.

"Knowing history is my job, and I document and research it for posterity," Mr. Marcello said. "But beyond that, I have a great love and respect for our proud military heritage and for the Airmen who are making history. I am looking forward to going out to different shops, and getting to know our Airmen as they pave the way for tomorrow."

Mr. Marcello said he works by an open door policy, and welcomes everyone to stop by with information requests.

"Everyone is welcome to stop by with questions," he said. "The answers are out there. The most exciting part of my job is the thrill of the chase when I know where to look and which rock to turn over to find out what happened. The satisfaction I get from helping people answer their questions is one of the most rewarding parts of my job."