|Birth: ||Feb. 4, 1926|
|Death: ||Sep. 4, 1951, North Korea|
Lt. James Joseph Ashford, born February 4, 1926, was the son of Mary Crutcher Ashford and Albert W. Ashford, and grandson of Belton resident Eva Wallingford Crutcher.
A veteran of the Naval Aviation forces during World War II, Ashford lived in Belton after the war and volunteered for service again during the Korean War. Ashford took flight training and became a pilot of an F9F-2 Pantherjet fighter with Fighter Squadron 51 aboard the carrier USS Essex (CV-9). Squadron VF-51 became the first squadron to take jets into combat and score the first air-to-air kills in the Korean War. Future astronaut and first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, was also a naval aviator in VF-51 during this period. In yet another link to future fame and accomplishment, author James A. Michener based his novel "The Bridges at Toko Ri" on his experiences as a war correspondent aboard the USS Essex during this same timeframe.
On September 4, 1951, while making a run on a truck near Sinp'yong, Ashford's aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire and crashed five and a half miles north northwest of Sinp'yong, North Korea. Ashford was a awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Ashford was interred in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California.
Albert W Ashford (1903 - 1939)
WORLD WAR II
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
San Diego County
Plot: O 0 2263
Maintained by: Belton Remembers
Originally Created by: Marvin & Samme Templin
Record added: Sep 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77317525