AYRES, TIMOTHY R.
|Name: Timothy R. Ayres
Rank/Branch:O3/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 25th TFS
Date of Birth: 02 January 1945
Home City of Record: Houston TX
Date of Loss: 03 May 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 170300 North 106570 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. 2017
REMARKS: 730328 RELEASED BY DRV
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE - 02/97 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO with material provided by
TIMOTHY R. AYRES
Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: May 3, 1972
Released: March 28, 1973
Others in Incident: Theodore Sienicki, Returnee
I was born 2 January 1945 in Los Angelas, CA.
It must have all started way back when, as a little boy, I was bitten by the
flying bug. From that time on I made it a goal to attend the USAF Academy and
then go on to pilot training. All went well except for a slight delay for a
year at the USAF Academy Prep School. The next year I did go to the Academy
and subsequently graduated in 1968 as an eager 2nd Lieutenant. Another goal
was then realized when I went to pilot training at Moody AFB in Georgia where
I earned my wings in 1969. From pilot training I proceeded to 0-2A training to
become a Forward Air Controller (FAC). Completing my training I was sent to
Vietnam as a FAC working out of Quang Ngai, South Vietnam.
In October 1970 after a year of extremely rewarding and fascinating flying, I
proceeded to George AFB in California for upgrading into the F-4 aircraft.
Once again, upon completion of this training, I was on my way back to
Southeast Asia; this time to Ubon, Thailand. I considered this tour the most
rewarding in my short military career. For eight months I flew missions over
Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam and later participated in the first raids
back to Hanoi in April, 1972. Shortly thereafter, on 3 May 1972, while flying
as a "FAST" FAC with the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, we were downed by
anti-aircraft fire just north of the demilitarized zone. Our 460th mission was
to find and determine if certain surface to air missile (SAM) sites were
occupied. Once we were hit, the aircraft caught on fire and then the flight
controls went limp. We ejected at this time. Capture came shortly thereafter,
and eventually we arrived in Hanoi to spend an eleven month sojourn at the
I was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the P.O.W. medal after my
My future plans are to stay in the Air Force and I am most anxious to get back
in the cockpit. I dearly love flying, so I plan to stay as close to it as I
can in the future. Being a bachelor I also plan to stay in the States for a
few years and enjoy the good life. The future does indeed look bright.
Being a "short timer" in prison I have no horror stories to tell, but I do
take my hat off to the "old heads" who showed us the way to survive and return
with honor. I will always be indebted to them. My family has also shown
themselves to be strong under trying circumstances. I was listed as MIA until
December of 1972 which was difficult for my family. I'm proud to say they
handled themselves admirably.
To the people of America; I am truly humbled before you. You made it all
worthwhile once I walked down that ramp and you were waiting to accept us with
open arms and hearts. The overwhelming outpouring of emotion has been so heart
warming. The "silent majority" stood up, and the pride it roused in me is
beyond description. It just proves to me, that the American people will be
there when you need them. A sincere "Thank You" is in order and may God Bless
everyone of you.
Timothy Ayres retired from the United States Air Force Reserve as a Lt.
Colonel in June of 1995. He and his wife Sharon reside in Texas, where he was a
pilot with a major airline. They have two daughters, Natasha and Tiffany.