Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation©

Marine Corps Vietnam-era Tankers and Ontosmen Have Made History. 

Your Historical Foundation is Making it Known.

For service as set forth in the following:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel Maurice C. Ashley, Jr., United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the First Tank Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 November 1968, a North Vietnamese Army company attacked the hamlet of Phu Hoa, near DaNang, inflicted numerous casualties upon the civilian populace, and pinned down the few Popular Forces personnel stationed in the village. Informed of the incident, Lieutenant Colonel Ashley immediately mustered a reaction force and, preceding it alone to the beleaguered hamlet, fearlessly traveled over a road not yet cleared of enemy mines. Reaching the hamlet, he reconnoitered the area and carefully prepared a plan of attack which would avoid wounding innocent civilians and inflict maximum casualties upon the North Vietnamese unit. When the reaction force arrived, Lieutenant Colonel Ashley stationed himself with the point man and, although exposed to intense hostile fire, personally led the Marines into the hamlet where he deployed his men into effective fighting positions, indicated lines of fire, then conducted a houseeto-house search and destroy operation. Skillfully exercising close control over the combined maneuvering of the reaction unit and the Popular Forces, he enabled his men to clear the hamlet of enemy soldiers, forcing the hostile company into a disorganized retreat. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit's accounting for two North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed, in addition to the capturing of two others. By his courage, aggressive leadership and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lieutenant Colonel Ashley contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.