Having actually gone "Missing" on the above date, he was not officially declared by the military as being dead until January 15, 1946.
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Ashley served as a First Lieutenant & Co-Pilot on B-24D #42-40636, 31st Bomber Squadron, 5th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.
He resided in Washington County, New York prior to the war.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 27, 1941 in Albany, New York. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed in the fabrication of metal products and also as Single, without dependents.
B-24D #42-40636 took off from Carney Field, Guadalcanal on a bombing mission against Chabai, Papua, New Guinea supply area. They were seen by other bombers to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire, while over the target, and multiple members of the crew were also seen to parachute out of the aircraft. The B-24 then crashed nose first two miles off the northern coast of Bougainville.
Ashley, along with the entire crew, was declared "Missing In Action" during this mission.
He was awarded the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.
Service # O-736350
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Airmen who perished on B-24D #42-40636:
Fritz, Norman J ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, CT
Harmon, Albert R ~ S/Sgt, Asst. Engineer, NC
Higgs, Charles M ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, GA
Hughes, Andrew J ~ Capt, Pilot, NM
Lilley, William J ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, WA
Lipps, Lawrence ~ 1st Lt, Bombardier, NY
McBride, Orval G ~ 2nd Lt, Observer, MT
Pritchard, Ashley F ~ 1st Lt, Co-Pilot, NY
Talley, Claude C, Jr ~ 1st Lt, Navigator, TN
Trout, William C ~ S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner, MD
Vivatson, Kristjan T ~ S/Sgt, Asst. Radio, ND
Bio & Crew Report by:
Russell S. "Russ" Pickett
( Information from multiple military sources was used to compile this biography )