Scrapbook page from Walter Ashe; Courtesy UNC-Asheville Special Collections




Walter F. Ashe

Retired naval lieutenant, Walter Ashe received the award in 1992 for his effort in organizing an exhibit and activities commemorating the ships that bore the name “Asheville.” Ashe, who moved to Asheville in 1983, served from 1936 to 1939 aboard the U.S.S. Asheville in China waters. During WWII, he was stationed on the battleship North Carolina. He retired from the navy in 1966. Upon arriving in Asheville he was astounded at how little his new neighbors and friends knew about the ships that bore the city’s name. He set out to recover the history of the ships, especially P.G. 21, which he had been stationed on in the 1930s and which Japanese forces sank on March 3, 1942, with the loss of 160 lives.