b. 12/10/1931 Wilmington, North Carolina. d. 07/02/1968 Lang Vei, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 06/02/1968 Lang Vei, Vietnam.
Sgt. Ashley was born in Wilmington, NC on October 12, 1931, to Eugene Ashley Sr. and Cornelia Ashley he had a sister named Gertrude Ashley. Not long after his birth, his family moved to New York City where Eugene, Jr. attended Alexander Hamilton High School. Ashley joined the Army from New York City in December 1950 and served in the Korean War. By February 6, 1968, he was serving as a sergeant first class in Company C of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces in Vietnam. On that day, Ashley led an assault force in an attempt to rescue American troops trapped by North Vietnamese infantry and tanks during the Battle of Lang Vei. He led several assaults against the enemy and was mortally wounded in his fifth and last attempt to reach the American forces. He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.
Sfc. Ashley was the senior special forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of 5 vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machine gun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer.
BURIAL LOCATION: ROCKFISH MEMORIAL PARK, FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA.
ATONEMENT II, LOT G