Award Citation as published in February 1942:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Ashton Bernard Smith, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism, as Executive Officer of the Navy Fleet Oiler USS Salinas (AO 19), in operating the carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system after the first torpedo struck the ship on 30 October 1941, and, after being injured by the explosion of the second torpedo, in giving the necessary orders to the crew of that vessel to keep her afloat and at the same time open fire on the attacking submarine.
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