2018 marks 50 years since Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr. was killed in Vietnam

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A display at Ashley High School honors Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr. (Photo: Sarah Johnson/WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Wednesday is an important day for the community, especially students and staff at Ashley High School.

That’s because February 7, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr.’s death during the Vietnam War.

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Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr. went to Vietnam as part of the army’s special forces.

Weeks later, the north Vietnamese attacked where Ashley was stationed, with tanks, trapping American forces.

Ashley managed to cut a path to let the trapped Americans escape.



He was hit by machine-gun fire during the 5th assault.

Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr. died on February 7, 1968.

New Hanover County honored him in 2001 by naming Ashley High School after him.

Ashley High School Soccer Coach Greg Marinich addressed Sgt. Ashley’s legacy at the Ashley High School signing day on Wednesday.

“Today, being able to come back in this building on the 50th anniversary of the death of Eugene Ashley. I’m kind of passionate about that as a former service member. I think when these folks step away, or I should hope, that they’re fired up about being Screaming Eagles and always will consider themselves to be Screaming Eagles,” Marinich said.

To read more about Sgt. Eugene Ashley, Jr., click here.

To read more about high school signing day, click here.