Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Eugene

Last Name: Ashley

Birthplace: Wilmington, NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: New York City, NY

Date of Birth: 12 October 1930

Date of Death: 07 February 1968

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Years Served: 1950 - 1968
Eugene Ashley, Jr.

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Eugene Ashley, Jr.
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Eugene Ashley, Jr. (12 October 1930 - 7 February 1968) was a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He was awarded America's highest military award for valor-the Medal of Honor-for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Eugene Ashley, Jr. was born in Wilmington, NC on 12 October 1930, the only child of Eugene and Cornelia 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 1950 and served in the Korean War. On 6 February 1968, he was 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.

Medal of Honor


Sfc. Ashley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C. 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. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to the assault. The resolute valor with which he led 5 gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. Sfc. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley's Medal of Honor was presented to his family at the White House by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew on 2 December 1969.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley, Jr. was killed in action on 7 February 1968. He is buried at Rockfish Memorial Park in Fayetteville, NC.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Eugene Ashley, Jr.'s name is inscribed on Panel 37E - Line 77.

Honoree ID: 883   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image