Curtis Ashton was born on November 30, 1946, in Rotan, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 12, 1965, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in April 1965. Ashton next attended Aviation Electrician training at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, from April to October 1965, followed by service at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, from October 1965 to April 1966. Petty Officer Ashton attended Underwater Demolition Team Replacement training at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from May to August 1966, and then served with UDT-22 at NAB Little Creek from August 1966 to March 1967. Petty Officer Ashton transferred to SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek in March 1967, and deployed with his Team to South Vietnam from October 1967 to April 1968. After serving back at NAB Little Creek with SEAL Team TWO from April to October 1968, he redeployed to South Vietnam with his Team from October 1968 to April 1969. While stationed back at NAB Little Creek, he attended Special Operations Training at NAB Coronado, California, and Gunfire Support School at NAB Little Creek, before returning to South Vietnam with SEAL Team TWO for his third tour of duty in early December 1969. Petty Officer Ashton was killed in action in South Vietnam on December 27, 1969, and was buried at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Sweetwater, Texas.
His 3rd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam on 17 November 1968. Petty Officer Ashton, as machine gunner for a seven man squad of the FIFTH Platoon, United States Navy SEAL Team, Detachment ALFA, was patrolling Thoi Son Island, a heavily defended Viet Cong stronghold. The squad moved into a three house complex in order to question residents about enemy activity in the area. Since the houses were separated, the squad was forced to disperse itself in order to set up adequately for any contingency. While they were questioning the inhabitants of the houses, a ten man enemy unit came down an adjacent trail in an attempt to attack the squad in the houses. Seeing that he was the only one who could get into position to fire on the enemy, Petty Officer ASHTON, with complete disregard for his own safety, jumped onto the open trail to get a clear line of fire. In his initial volley of fire, he killed five of the aggressors and routed the remainder of the unit. His aggressive actions and devotion to duty thwarted the enemy's attempt to trap his squad in the houses and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Petty Officer ASHTON is authorized to wear the Combat "V".