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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063
415-334-0263
415-350-0531
Art Curtis: awcurtis@comcast.net

 

STORIES OF THE MEN

USS San Francisco SSN 711

 

Joseph Allen Ashley

Joseph Allen "Joey" Ashley

 

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Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley (U.S.N.), a lifelong resident of Manchester, Ohio, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Jan. 9, at the age of 24.

Joey died as a result of severe head injuries he sustained when the nuclear submarine U.S.S. San Francisco, home-based in Guam, ran aground while out on maneuvers in the South Pacific.

He leaves parents, Daniel and Vicki Ashley of Manchester; brothers, Daniel Jr. (Dawn) of Canal Fulton, PFC Benjamin (Kati) of Fort Bragg, N.C.; grandparents, Joseph Jr. and Helen Ashley of Reedy, W. Va., Rev. Dallas and Ellen Smith of Harrisville, W. Va.; aunts and uncles, Linda June (Ashley) Fleisher of Akron, Les (Debbie) Ashley of Doylestown, Jim (Lyneen) Ashley of Reedy, W. Va., Dallas Jr. (Teri) Smith of Rossville, Ga., Alfred (Kathy) Smith of Mason, Ohio, and Aaron (Barb) Smith of Manchester. He also leaves many close and loving cousins, shipmates, and friends.

Joey was a 1999 graduate of Manchester High School, where he was a member of the marching band and was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 118. After graduation, he chose to follow his father's footsteps and joined the Navy in 2001. He was also a member of both the Canal Fulton Baptist Church and the Akron Baptist Temple, and frequented many other churches in the area. Wherever he was based, he found a church to attend. Joey never met a stranger. His personality captured and affected each of us in its own way, and his memory will remain in our hearts forever. Joey was loved by all who knew him and we are all blessed to have had him in our lives, even for such a short time.

Joseph Allen Ashley

Southern Pride: Ode to the Gen'ral

I write this for a man I know.
You all should know him well.
We call him Gen'ral Cooter and
this here's the tale I tell:
The only Gen'ral that I know
who sailed the ocean blue
Aboard a mighty submarine
Ole Cooter'd lead us if
The South should rise again,
And Rebel pride would flourish strong
In all the men he knew,
Cause nothin' mattered much on race
As Cooter's army grew.
One day he gathered with his men;
His shipmates of the sea,
And leave home, they set on out,
A foreign port to see.
The mighty Captain welcomed them,
Beneath the waves they flew
With shellbacks there, and pollywogs
And Cooter's army grew.
Through many missions, tests, and trials
The mighty ship prevailed
Her warriors would prove their worth
Wherever she was sailed.
The best damn boat in all the fleet,
And all the sailors knew
The Captain had the finest men
Cause Cooters Army grew.
But an underwater mountain
Did cause the ship to wreck,
And all those roughneck salts onboard
Were flung on to the deck.
The Gen'ral could not rise again,
Soon ev'rybody knew.
We did our best to save his life,
And Cooter's army grew.
The Captain stood there by his side
And bid him stay and fight.
Some re-enforcements would arrive
If he could make the night.
And prayers abounded with support
From all the loyal crew
They rallied strength and gathered hope
And Cooter's army grew.
We found some good ole country songs
To ease his pain away,
But with Hank Jr. playin' loud
Ole Cooter slipped away,
And following the midday sun
He left our battered crew.
The Gen'ral soldiers mourned his loss,
But Cooter's army grew.
And as we laid him down to rest,
We held his banner high,
And heard a hoot and holler from
Those Rebels in the sky.
And as the good Lord took him in,
He kept our Gen'ral true.
The angels came to march with him,
And Cooter's army grew.

B.A. Dirksen
-1/0/05-

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