2/Lt. William J. Ashton

(F. Birtciel)

2/Lt. William J. Ashton

343rd FS - 07 December 1943 - 06 February 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

Known to have flown P-38J CY- 42-67893

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List

Not Known

Air Scores
Ground Scores

Entered service from Canton, Ohio.
ASN - O-726548
07 December 1943 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
06 February 1944 - Killed in Action
MACR No. 02150
1/Lt. Harold M. Bauer reported: "On the mission of Feb. 6th, I was leading the second element of Careful Yellow flight with Lt. Ashton as my wingman.  We had rendezvous'd and escorted the bombers for our specific time when Capt. Hoeper called in bogies at 9 o'clock.  I broke to the left after them, with Lt. Ashton following and I called for Capt. Hoeper to give me top cover.  This was at 12,000 feet and we dove after these bogies to about 4,000 feet where I positively identified them as friendly.  I made a sharp climbing turn to the left and at 7,000 feet I looked back and saw a FW-190 on my tail.  I broke into him and at that instant noticed Lt. Ashton's left engine on fire, on my right.  He called on the radio saying, 'This damn things on fire, I've got to leave it.' I told him, 'Leave the damn thing Ashton.'  I was then engaging two FW-190s (silver bodies, yellow noses) and that was the last I saw of Ashton's ship.  I engaged the two FW-190s for about three minutes and shook them off by reversing a turn and hitting the deck, headed for home."
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Lt. Ashton was killed by enemy fighters between Dreux and Evreux, France.  It is likely that he was shot down by Luftwaffe pilot Hptm. Herbert Huppertz of  11./JG 2, whose claim was made by reviewing gun camera footage.

He is buried at Plot B, Row 19, Grave 67, Epinal American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Dinoze, France.

Awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart.

Additional Image Lt. Ashton's entry in the American Roll of Honour in St. Paul's Cathedral, London
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