James Henry Ashley, Jr., USN

Born  3 Mar 1911Manchester, Tennessee

Ranks

31 May 1937 Lt. (j.g.)
1 Jul 1941 Lt.
1 Mar 1943 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Feb 1944 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Sep/Nov 44 Navy Cross (1)
Jun/Aug 45 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for James Henry Ashley, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS S-17 (122)Lt. (j.g.)Submarine16 Dec 1940Feb 1941
USS Seadragon (194)T/Cdr.Submarine21 Feb 194411 Feb 1945
USS Aspro (309)T/Cdr.SubmarineFeb 1945Jan 1946

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Seadragon (194)


23 Mar 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Erdahl, USNR).

24 Mar 1944
During 24/25 March 1944, USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN), conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Erdahl, USNR), USS Florikan (Cdr. G.A. Sharp, USN), USS Allen (Lt.Cdr. H.H. Nielsen, USN), USS Salmon (Cdr. H.K. Nauman, USN) and USS Bang (Cdr. A.R. Gallaher, USN). These exercises included night exercises.

25 Mar 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Wyman (Lt. E.P. Parker, USNR), USS Florikan (Cdr. G.A. Sharp, USN) and USS Salmon (Cdr. H.K. Nauman, USN).

26 Mar 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Erdahl, USNR), USS Litchfield (Lt. A.F. Hollingsworth, USN) and USS Guavina (Cdr. C. Tiedeman, USN).

1 Apr 1944
With her overhaul and training completed, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) left Pearl Harbor for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Honshu in Japanese home waters.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Seadragon during this patrol see the map below.

3 Apr 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) topped off with fuel at Johnston Island before proceeding towards her patrol area.

23 Apr 1944 (position 33.25, 135.45)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank the brand new Japanese freighter Daiju Maru (6886 GRT, built 1944) off Shionomisaki, Honshu, Japan in position 33°25'N, 135°45'E.

Later the same day a single ship was attacked with four torpedoes a bit further to the south-east but all torpedoes missed their target.

(All times are zone I, -9)
0533 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 314°(T). Commenced approach.

0545 hours - In position 33°25'N, 135°44'E sighted masts of several ships.

0603 hours - Went to battle stations submerged. The contat by now was seen to be a convoy of four ships and three escorts. Started attack on the third freighter which appeared to be the largest.

0649 hours - In position 33°35'N, 135°45'E fired three torpedoes from the bow tubes from 1900 yards. One torpedo hit was heard but the result could not be observed as Seadragon meanwhile had to go deep due to one of the escorts rushing towards.

0653 hours - Depth charging started, very close. Until 0910 hours a total of about 40 depth charges were dropped casusing some minor damage which was quickly repaired.

1030 hours - Returned to periscope depth. All clear.

-----------------------------------------------------

2200 hours - In position 33°01'N, 135°55'E obtained SJ radar contact at a range of 18500 yards. Commenced tracking.The contact was a single ship, zig zagging at a speed of 12 knots. The contact was sighted at a range of 6000 yards. Started attack.

2249 hours - In position 32°48'N, 136°17'E fired four torpedoes from 2850 yards. All torpedoes missed. The target was seen to turn away. As he was heading towards the Kii Suido an end around was not possible.

2254 hours - Heard distant explosions, most likely the torpedoes exploding at the end of their run.

27 Apr 1944 (position 33.32, 135.59)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese transport Hawaii Maru (9467 GRT, built 1915) off Shikoku, Japan in position 33°32'N, 135°59'E.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1030 hours - In position 33°32'N, 135°59'E sighted the masts of a ship against the land background. Haze along the beach made the sighting of the masts very difficult. Went ahead full to close the track. Soon saw more masts ahead and realized they had gotten by without being seen. Closed the track on the third (last) ship which looked like a freighter of about 2500 ton.

1057 hours - Broke off the attack as we were only 2 miles from the beach by now.

1105 hours - In position 33°29'N, 135°57'E sighted two medium transports escorted by a Minekaze class destroyer. We were between the convoy and the beach. Started attack.

1212 hours - In position 33°32'N, 135°59'E fired three stern torpedoes from 1000 yards at the leading target. One hit was obtained amidships near his stack.

1215 hours - The destroyer was seen coming towards.

1216 hours - The target was seen to lay stopped and was now almost completely obscured by smoke.

1217 hours - Went deep and rigged for depth charging.

1219 hours - The first depth charge was dropped but it was not close.

1220 to 1455 hours - A total of about 80 depth charges was dropped by the enemy. There were three A/S vessels involved in the hunt for Seadragon.

1459 hours - Returned to periscope depth and sighted a destroyer and a torpedo boat on the horizon.

13 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Midway.

17 May 1944 (position 33.31, 155.25)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) sank a Japanese armed trawler with gunfire in position 33°31'N, 155°25'E.

(All times are zone K, -10)
1102 hours - In position 33°31'N, 155°25'E sighted masts of a small vessel. Took up a position ahead.

1222 hours - Submerged.

1315 hours - The contact was seen to be an armed trawler of about 150 ton.

1526 hours - Took stations for battle surface.

1533 hours - Battle surfaced on the starboard side of the trawler at a range of 5000 yards.

1535 hours - Opened fire with the 4" gun. The fourth or fifth round hit the target in the pilot house which put his gun out of action and started a good fire.

1700 hours - Ceased fire after having expended a total of 117 rounds. The target was still afloat but burning fiercely from the pilot house aft. The hull was full of holes.

1755 hours - Closed the trawler and saw three Japanese still alive and huddled in the forepeak.

1816 hours - Put the bow of Seadragon against the bow of the trawler and sent over a boarding party of three to try to take prisoners but the Japanese refused to be taken prisoner, two had to be shot and the third dived into a smoke filled hold.

1830 hours - Took off the boarding party.

1856 hours - The trawler broke in two and the after section sank. Only a small section of the bow was still afloat and it was burning.

1900 hours - Cleared the area.

21 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) made a short stop at Midway to take on board fuel for the passage to Pearl Harbour.

25 May 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) ended her 10th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was ordered to the Mare Island Navy Yard for an overhaul.

27 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the Mare Island Navy Yard.

3 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at Mare Island Navy Yard for a refit.

27 Aug 1944
During 27/28 August 1944, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), conducted trials off San Francisco. These included deep diving trials. She was escorted by USS King (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN).

29 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), conducted trials off San Francisco. These included diving and full power trials. She was escorted by USS King (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN).

31 Aug 1944
With her refit completed, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), departed the Mare Island Navy Yard for Pearl Harbour. She was escorted out by USS PC 791 (Lt. J.P. Hinckley, USNR).

7 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour from the Mare Island Navy Yard.

13 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Charles R. Greer (Cdr. A. Jackson, Jr., USNR).

15 Sep 1944
During 15/16 September 1944, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Charles R. Greer (Cdr. A. Jackson, Jr., USNR), USS Greiner (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Kiser, USN), USS Eisele (Lt.Cdr. S.C. Ranta, USNR), USS Besugo (Cdr. T.L. Wogan, USN) and USS Perch (Cdr. B.C. Hills, USN). These exercises included night exercises.

18 Sep 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Greiner (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Kiser, USN), USS Allen (Lt. J.A. Rowe, USNR) and USS Blackfish (Cdr. R.F. Sellars, USN).

19 Sep 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Le Hardy (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Holtz, USNR), USS Tisdale (Lt.Cdr. J.S. Hatfield, USNR) and USS Blackfish (Cdr. R.F. Sellars, USN).

23 Sep 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 11th war patrol together with USS Shark (Cdr. E.N. Blakely, USN) and USS Blackfish (Cdr. R.F. Sellars, USN). These submarines are to patrol as a wolf pack in the northern South China Sea. The submarines were escorted out of Pearl Harbour by USS PC 482.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Seadragon during this patrol see the map below.

3 Oct 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at Saipan. She (and other submarines) were escorted in USS Fanning (Cdr. J.C. Bentley, USN).

5 Oct 1944
After voyage repairs by USS Holland, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), departed Saipan for her patrol area. She and USS Trigger (Cdr. F.J. Harlfinger, II, USN) were escorted out by USS Motive (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Lundgren, USNR).

22 Oct 1944 (position 21.57, 118.14)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) attacked a Japanese task force south of Formosa Strait in position 21°57'N, 118°14'E. A 'carrier' was attacked with four torpedoes however there was no carrier with this task force which was made up of the heavy cruisers Nachi and Ashigara, the light cruiser Abukuma and the destroyers destroyers Akebono, Kasumi, Ushio, Shiranuhi, Wakaba, Hatsushimo and Hatsuharu.

(All times are zone I, -9)
21 October 1944
2315 hours - In position 21°47'N, 118°14'E obtained SJ radar contact bearing 025°(T), range 25000 yards. There were five large pips.

2317 hours - Commenced tracking. Sent out a contact report to USS Shark and USS Blackfish. The targets were varying speed from 15 to 22 knots and were making 10 to 20 degree zigs. Base course of the enemy was 190(T).

2330 hours - Four smaller pips appeared, so there were now a total of nine.

22 October 1944
0015 hours - Reached a position ahead of the target and 2500 yards from track.

0035 hours - In position 21°57'N, 118°14'E fired four torpedoes at the leading target thought to be an aircraft carrier (sic). Range was about 2200 yards. Three torpedoes were heard to explode.

0037 hours - Dived.

0041 hours - Five depth charges were dropped. None were close.

0222 hours - Surfaced.

24 Oct 1944 (position 20.31, 118.32)
While attacking a Japanese convoy north-west of Luzon, Philippines, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ships Daiten Maru (4642 GRT, built 1943) in position 20°23'N, 118°47'E (?), Eiko Maru (1843 GRT, built 1903) in position 20°35'N, 118°32'E. Seadragon claimed to have sunk three ships.

(All times are zone I, -9)
0615 hours - Received a message from USS Shark that she had radar contact on a single freither.

0620 hours - Went ahead to full speed to gain contact.

0730 hours - In position 20°26'N, 118°28'E made sight contact through the periscope at a range of 24000 yards. The target was proceeding south at a speed of 11 knots.

0850 hours - Dived in the hope the target would turn towards.

0920 hours - Sighted three freighters escorted by a Chidori class torpedo boat.

0921 hours - Went to battle stations and commenced approach. The freighters wer in loose column with the torpedo boat patrolling the starboard side of the convoy from bow to beam.

1055 hours - In position 20°31'N, 118°32'E fired four bow torpedoes at the leading freighter from 1100 yards. The first torpedo broached and ran erratic alerting the escort who headed for us. Rigged for depth charges.

1056 hours - Two torpedo explosions were heard followed by loud breaking up noises.

1101 hours - The first of eight depth charges was dropped but none were close.

1154 hours - At periscope depth. Sighted the torpedo boat about four miles astern milling around by himself probably picking up survivors. Sighted two freighters ahead at a range of 3000 yards. Went ahead at standard speed to try to close. The target made only 2 knots. When the range was 2500 yards the torpedo boat speeded up and rejoined the freighters.

1214 hours - In position 20°33'N, 118°34'E fired four bow torpedoes from 1000 yards. Saw and heard three hits. The ship sank in less then two minutes. Attempted to evade the torpedo boat at periscope depth but as he appeared to be in contact went deep.

1218 hours - The first of 15 depth charges was dropped but none were close.

1310 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The torpedo boat and one freighter were in sight. Luck was with us again and the freighter soon turned towards.

1404 hours - In position 20°31'N, 118°32'E fired four bow torpedoes from 850 yards. Observed and heard two hits. The ship broke in two, the bow remained afloat and the remainder sank very quickly. The torpedo boat came towards again so went deep and rigged for depth charges. [This target was the Eiko Maru].

1405 hours - The first of 25 depth charges was dropped.

1447 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The torpedo boat was seen on the horizon still searching for submarines.

1858 hours - Surfaced and tried to contact USS Shark but she did not reply.

25 Oct 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) attacked what is thought to be a Japanese destroyer of the Fubuki-class with four torpedoes south of the Formosa Strait in position 22°00'N, 119°22'E. All torpedoes missed and Seadragon was briefly depth charged after this failed attack.

(All times are zone L, -9)
2103 hours - Obtained SJ radar contact at a range of 11300 yards. Commenced tracking and sent a contact report to USS Blackfish. The target was making 11 knots. The night was very bright with half moon.

2153 hours - Dived to radar depth when the range was 8000 yards and we were 2500 yards off track.

2201 hours - Could now see the target through the periscope and it was seen to be a destroyer.

2227 hours - In position 22°00'N, 119°22'E fired four stern torpedoes from 450 yards. All missed and it is thought the torpedoes had not enough time to reach the depth they were set for and ran under.

2230 hours - Rigged for depth charging.

2231 hours - The first depth charge was dropped, close, as were the next three.

2235 hours - The last of seventeen depth charges was dropped.

2302 hours - Surfaced.

8 Nov 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) ended her 11th war patrol at Midway.

27 Nov 1944
During 27/28 November 1944, USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), conducted exercises off Midway together with USS Greenlet (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Hodgson, Jr., USN). These included night exercises.

3 Dec 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) left Midway for her 12th and final war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Japanese home waters and off the Bonin Islands and to perform lifeguard duties for downed Allied aircrews.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Seadragon during this patrol see the map below.

12 Dec 1944 (position 29.49, 140.03)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) attacked a small escorted transport off the Bonin Islands with four torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1725 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 310°(T), headed towards.

1732 hours - SJ radar did not made contact until the range was 16000 yards. Went to battle stations for a night torpedo attack. Commenced tracking.

1735 hours - Four additional small pips appeared on the SJ radar.

1800 hours - When the range was 3000 yards the targets came in sight. The convoy consisted of a small transport, a patrol vessel, two other small escorts were neer sighted.

1813 hours - In position 29°49'N, 140°03'E fired four bow torpedoes from 1200 yards. All missed.

1820 hours - Heard end of run detonations.

22 Jan 1945
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) ended her 12th and last war patrol at Guam. She was now assigned to training duties.

23 Jan 1945
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed Guam for Pearl Harbour. She was escorted out by USS Martin (Lt. R.W. McCallister, Jr., USNR).

2 Feb 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Seadragon (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour.


Submarine USS Aspro (309)


2 Jun 1945
With her overhaul completed USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed from the Hunters Point Navy Yard bound for Pearl Harbor.

10 Jun 1945
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour. 4 days were spent on voyage repairs and 8 days were spent on training before Aspro was ready for her 7th war patrol.

25 Jun 1945
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol and perform lifeguard duties to the south of the Japanese home islands.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Aspro during this patrol see the map below.

29 Jun 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) topped off with fuel at Midway before proceeding to her patrol area.

8 Jul 1945
At 1517 hours (zone -9), USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), picked up a downed US aviator to the north-east of Hachijo Jima.

25 Jul 1945 (position 34.57, 140.04)
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank a Japanese tug to the south-east of Tokyo Bay.

(All times are zone -9)
0355 hours - In position 35°01'N, 140°04'E sighted smoke on horizon followed by the sighting of masts of several small vessels rounding Nojima Saki lighthouse.

0427 hours - The contact developed into two heavily smoking tugs towing a dredger. Decided to fire two torpedoes at the largest tug thought to be of 400-500 tons.

0618 hours - In position 34°57'N, 140°04'E fired two torpedoes from a range of about 750 yards. The first torpedo hit amidships tearing a large hole in her side underneath her stack. Took pictures through the periscope.

0621 hours - The target rolled over and sank. The other tug picked up the survivors and went alongside the dredge.

3 Aug 1945 (position 35.11, 139.20)
At 1345 hours (zone -9), USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN), picked up a downed aviator inside Sagami Bay in position 35°11'N 139°20'E. While trying to pick up this survivor Aspro was attacked and bombed by Japanese aircraft but she sustained no damage.

6 Aug 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Midway.

13 Aug 1945
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) ended her 7th war patrol at Midway.

1 Sep 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) departed Midway for San Francisco.

11 Sep 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Aspro (Cdr. J.H. Ashley, Jr., USN) arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard.


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