Ashby, James Wesley, HM3

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary NEC
HM-8404-Medical Field Service Technician/FMF Combat Corpsman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Hospital Corpsman
Primary Unit
1967-1967, HM-8404, 3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)
Service Years
1965 - 1967
HM-Hospital Corpsman

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Neale Turner (DocT), HM3 to remember Ashby, James Wesley, PO3.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Park Rapids, MN
Last Address
Park Rapids, MN

Casualty Date
Jun 01, 1967
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Quang Tri (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Greenwood Cemetery - Park Rapids, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
21E 025

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
The National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
(HM) Hospital Corpsman A School, Fort Sam Houston, TexasBureau of Medicine (BUMED)3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)
  1965-1965, HN-0000, (HM) Hospital Corpsman A School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
  1966-1967, HM-0000, Naval Hospital Bethesda, MD
  1967-1967, HM-8404, 3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (66-67)/Operation Prairie II
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (66-67)/Operation Prairie III
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (66-67)/Operation Big Horn II
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (66-67)/Operation Prairie V
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (67-68)/Operation Cimarron
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
James Wesley Ashby, our youngest son, was born April 2, 1944, in Adrian, Minnesota. In 1951, he moved with his parents, one brother and two sisters to Park Rapids, Minnesota, where he was raised. He graduated from Park Rapids High School in 1962.

Jim started work at St. Joseph's Hospital in Park Rapids, Minnesota. He was on 24-hour call many times. When they had someone they didn't think would live long they asked him to come and sit with them. Jim tried to make sure the patients knew the Lord, and knew that He was waiting to take them Home with Him.

When they called for boys to go to Vietnam, Jim joined the Navy and went to U.S. Naval Corps school in Great Lakes, Illnois. He graduated from there in 1965 and was sent to Bethesda, Maryland, where he worked in the Bethesda Hospital. He was dearly loved by them all.

When the Marines were heading to Vietnam they needed a medic, so the Navy sent Jim to help them.

He made friends with the Vietnamese children and taught them about his Savior and King. He taught them the English language and they taught him the Vietnamese language.

One day when in the line of duty, he saw one of his comrades fall and when he ran to help him, he was killed by a blast. He received chest and back wounds. This was in the vicinity of Quang Tri province.

Jim left to mourn his passing one brother who is in the Army; one sister, a missionary; another sister, an IBM employee; his parents, Gerald and Muriel Ashby; plus many other relatives and friends. We received the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart plus three other awards from Vietnam in honor of him.

Gerald and Muriel Ashby, parents of James Ashby

Posted by: Jim McIlhenney
Name of Award
Navy Cross Year Awarded
  Last Updated:
Jan 27, 2011

Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Hospitalman Third Class James Wesley Ashby (NSN: 9140268), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 1 June 1967 while serving as a Corpsman with Company L, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. During a search and destroy operation, Petty Officer Ashby's company came under intense fire from a large, North Vietnamese Army force deeply entrenched in a cleverly-concealed and heavily defended bunker complex, and suffered heavy casualties during the first few minutes of the fierce battle. Responding immediately, Petty Officer Ashby dashed from his position of relative safety and, seemingly impervious to the murderous hostile, automatic-weapons fire sweeping the area, moved through the open terrain, treating and encouraging the wounded. Completely aware of the grave danger involved in remaining in a position exposed to the withering enemy fire, he staunchly refused to seek cover while there were wounded Marines in need of assistance, placing the welfare of his wounded comrades above his own personal safety. As he knelt over a seriously wounded Marine, shielding the Marine with his own body while administering lifesaving first aid, Petty Officer Ashby was mortally wounded by enemy sniper fire. By his inspiring courage in the face of great personal danger, his deep compassion for his comrades-in-arms, his outstanding professional ability, and his unfaltering devotion to duty, he succeeded in saving the lives of many Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Action Date: 1-Jun-67
Service: Navy
Rank: Hospitalman Third Class
Company: Corpsman (Attached), Company L
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 9th Marines
Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.) FMF

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