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FROM THE STARS AND STRIPES ARCHIVES

SFC, wounded 9 Times, wants 3rd Korean tour

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 15, 1953

CAMP DRAKE, Japan — Fifteen years of Army service and a chestful of decorations, including the nation's second highest award, hasn't satisfied SFC Charles E. Ashton's appetite for a good scrap. The Camp Drake military policeman from Colton, Cal., has asked to go back to Korea for the third time.

From the North African shores where he first saw enemy action during the second World War, up through Europe, and in the Korean campaign, Ashton has collected among his other decorations, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Soldier's Medal, the Bronze Star with four clusters, and the Purple Heart with eight clusters.

THE DSC, his most recent decoration, was awarded him after his ingenious escape from a Communist PW camp in January, 1951, in which he plotted and carried out a rescue plan for 159 other American prisoners. He had been interned near Pyongyang for 42 days.

Much of his combat experience has been with patrols, and the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart awards all resulted from his feats while engaged in patrol and scouting activity. One of the Silver Stars, which he received simultaneously with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was awarded during action near Kaesong when he led a platoon that annihilated 235 Communists.

ASHTON RECEIVED the Soldier's Medal the year before Pearl Harbor while he was assigned to basic cadre at Camp Polk, La., when he assisted in evacuating troops from a burning barrack.

Following his escape from the Reds and his ultimate hospitalization, Ashton returned to the States in September, 1951, and again volunteered for Korean service. He was sent to the Far East in November, 1952, and assigned to the MP detachment at Camp Drake.
 

Sgt. 1st Class Charles E. Ashton, at work at Camp Drake, Japan, in March, 1953.
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