Wortham Starr Ashcroft
|HOME OF RECORD
627 Arenas Street, La Jolla, CA
raised Weatherford, TX
|NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Margaret Ashcroft
|DATE OF BIRTH
July 11, 1919
May 29, 1940
|DATE OF LOSS
November 8, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Missing In Action
Declared Dead February 19, 1945
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Lieutenant Wortham Ashcroft was a dive-bomber pilot serving with VMSB-141, part of the Cactus Air Force stationed at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. A talented and trusted officer, he became the acting CO of his squadron when Major Gordon Bell was killed on 14 October 1942. The following day, Ashcroft led an attack on Japanese shipping and was credited with sinking a transport.
On 8 November 1942, Ashcroft and Corporal Samuel O. Preston, Jr. took SBD-3 Bureau Number 06678 on the daily patrol to Santa Isabel Island. Their flight encountered bad weather; when the storm cleared, Ashcroft and Preston’s plane was missing.
Despite repeated searches, no trace of their aircraft could be found, and both Marines were declared dead on 19 February 1945.
Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action
Oakland Cemetery, Weatherford, TX
Manila American Cemetery
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Wortham S. Ashcroft (MCSN: 0-7077), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Commanding Officer of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE (VMSB-141), in the Solomon Islands Area. On 15 October 1942, First Lieutenant Ashcroft led an attack on five enemy transports engaged in landing operations, and in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition. He so skillfully led the attack that he and one other pilot scored direct bomb hits on two transports setting them afire and seriously impeding enemy landing operations. The valor and skill he demonstrated in this action was typical of every engagement in which he participated until he was reported missing in action on 8 November 1942. His courageous determination and his ceaseless and untiring efforts, maintained at great personal risk, contributed to the success of our forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
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