WILLIAM F AYRES - SP4
- new gretna
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- June 09, 1938
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 27, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
William Francis Ayres was born on June 9, 1938, to William F. and Edna Ayres. He went to school in Bellmawr, PA, until 1965, when he moved with his family to New Gretna, NJ. He had two brothers, Edward and Frank.
William entered the US Army and attained the rank of Specialist 4 (SP4). He served a total of seven years in the Army. During his first enlistment, he served with the First Cavalry Division in Korea. He later was a member of the National Guard Unit in Tuckerton, NJ. He subsequently served in West Berlin for a time.
In Vietnam, Ayres served with Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Ayres was wounded when his helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. He sustained a broken arm, broken leg and broken ribs. He was hospitalized in the Philippines for two months. Later he was transferred to Hawaii and was in the hospital until mid-December 1965. On his discharge from the hospital, he was reassigned just before Christmas 1965, and sent back to Vietnam.
Ayres was killed in action on February 27, 1966, as the result of a grenade accident in Darlac Province, Vietnam.
Services were held at the Woods Funeral Home in Tuckerton, NJ, followed by a burial in the Hillside Avenue Cemetery, just east of New Gretna, NJ. He was survived by his mother and stepfather, Edna and Albert Kirck, and his brothers.
Ayres was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Sources: Various websites and NJVVMF.
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