As provided by NAVSPECWARCOM:
LCDR (SEAL/EOD) Alfred Joseph Ashton USN (Ret)
Class 35 (East Coast)
LCDR Al Ashton will be fondly remembered by his many friends and teammates from his career in the Navy with UDT-21, SEAL Team 1, SEAL Team 2 and the EOD Community.
He was born and grew up in Pittsburgh PA where he graduated from Allegheny High School in 1963. Through his Navy career Al received his Bachelor of Science degree from New York State University in Albany NY.
He graduated from BUD/S training in 1965 (Class 35) and went on to serve in various assignments under Naval Special Warfare including duties with UDT-21, SEAL Team 1, SEAL Team 2, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group Two, and various assignments within the EOD Group 2. Other assignments were OINC of EOD DET’s (including Beirut Lebanon); awarded the “Battle E” for efficiency at EODGRU 2, Cecil Field FL. He was lead inspector on the inspection team for both SEAL/EOD MINEWARCOM based out of Charleston Naval Station, Charleston SC. His last military command was at JUSMAGTHAI in Bangkok, Thailand where he retired from active duty. After retirement Al was ready to take on new challenges in the EOD civilian community. His first civilian employment was with EODT Inc., where he contributed significantly through his work ethics which was instrumental in helping establish one of the most respected and successful companies in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal arena. These new responsibilities took him to the Middle East numerous times and all over the United States as needed.
He was one of the most decorated SEAL’s in the teams during the Vietnam era having completed three tours. He was wounded twice during those tours one of which was very serious. Some thought he would never recover fully….as we all know he proved them wrong! He was awarded 2 purple hearts. Al repeatedly demonstrated bravery and heroism, receiving 35 awards and citations. The highest award he received was the Navy Marine Corps Medal. He was cited for having saved the life of the pilot of a helo in which he was a passenger that crashed in the Gulf Of Thailand. He received a total of 5 Bronze Stars with Combat V’s along with numerous other awards. He is among the few SPECWAR Officers to receive certification as SURFACE Warfare Qualified. Al also attained Navy Diving Salvage Officer designation after being commissioned and assigned to the USS Hoist.
Al Ashton’s reputation as an exceptional and accomplished athlete was widely known throughout the Navy and in both SEAL/EOD communities. He participated in a host of athletic events ranging from world competition (US Olympic Bobsled Team 1980; All Navy (football, volleyball & softball) to having won Athlete of the Year at the Naval Amphibious Base, Norfolk, Va. (1977,’78,’79).
Al Ashton is survived by his wife Alice Faye Ashton, (Hartselle, Al), four children:
David Ashton Pensacola FL; Kim Ashton Wise (Larry) Smithfield RI; Michelle Ashton Fetzer (Stan) Pittsburgh PA; and Keri Ashton Fike (Caleb) Hartselle AL; two sisters Patti Ashton Stelter Tampa FL; Nancy Ashton Hilliard Pittsburgh PA, and six grandchildren.
Al was a lifetime member of the UDT/SEAL Association Inc. and the National UDT/SEAL Museum. He was also a member of BWNVVA.