Name: Julius Skinner Jayroe
Source: Compiled by P..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. Updated with information provided
by Col. Jayroe USAF RET. 2018
REMARKS: 730304 RELEASED BY DRV
Born: Georgetown, South Carolina - 8 October 1932
Enlisted in USAF 17 August 1950; served in the field of Accounting and
Finance at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, Clark Air Base, Philippines, and Stewart
AFB, New York.
Competed and selected for USAF Aviation Cadet pilot training in August 1954.
Entered Class 56-F for preflight training at Lackland AFB, Texas, attended
Primary Flying Training (PA-18 and T-6G) at Stallings AB, N. C. and Basic
Flying Training (T-28 and T-33) at Bryan AFB, TX. Graduated, received USAF
Pilot Wings, and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on 16 Dec 1955.
* 1956 - 1958 - T-33 Instructor Pilot at Webb AFB, TX
* 1958 - 1961 - T-33 Flight Instructor in the USAF Instrument Pilot
Instructor School (IPIS) at James Connally AFB, Texas
* 1961 - 1963 - T-38 Flight Instructor in the USAF Instrument Pilot
Instructor School (IPIS) at Randolph AFB, Texas
* 1963 - 1966 - F-101A/C Tactical Fighter Pilot in 78th Tactical Fighter
Squadron, 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, Woodbridge Air Base, England.
Transitioned to F-4C at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona in late 1965 and returned
to 78th TFS in England in early 1966.
* September 1966 - Assigned to 390th TFS, 366th TFW, Danang AB, Vietnam.
Completed Jungle Survival School at Clark AFB, PI en route, and arrived
Danang in November 1966.
* 19 Jan 67 - Flying #3 position in flight of four F-4C aircraft escorting
two F-101 reconnaissance aircraft. Hit by surface-to-air missile (SAM) over
rail yards near Kep, approximately 30 miles northeast of Hanoi. Forced to
eject and landed uninjured, but captured immediately.
* 19 January 1967 - 4 March 1973 - Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.
Immediately upon landing via parachute I was captured by armed militia and
numerous farm workers. I was stripped to undershorts, cuffed, tied, and
blindfolded. Surrounded by militia, I was forced to run/walk along dikes
for about five miles until taken onto a military vehicle and transported to
a village. There I was photographed and divulged my name, rank, serial
number and date of birth. Shortly after dark, I was transported to Hanoi
and introduced to the Knobby Blue Room in the New Guy Village sectio n of
the infamous Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo Prison). The balance of that night, the
next day, and into the following night, endured torture (tight cuffs, ropes,
beatings) for refusing to give any info beyond name, rank, sn, and dob.
Finally signed a "confession" and was taken to Heartbreak Hotel and solo
confinement. A week or two later was moved to a cell near bathhut in Little
Vegas where I was able to see other POWs through crack in the d oor, gain
sporadic voice comm with them, and was introduced to the ta p code. Later
moved to the Mint in a cell between Cmdrs. Jerry Denton and Jim Mulligan,
both of whom helped me to perfect my tap code ability, indoctrinated me on
POW survival techniques, and informed of POW command structure. After
Easter 1967, moved to Thunderbird, where I received my first roommate, Lt.
(JG) Michael Cronin, US Navy. Later transferred to a cell with Capt. Tom
Story and Ensign Gary Thornton. We were joined by Capt. Tom Collins a few
days later, and the four of us were to stay together for the next 18 months
at Hanoi Hilton, Plantation, Power Plant, and Hanoi Hilton (again). During
this period, all of us were subjected to periodic interrogations and
torture. Most notable events in my mind were (1) taken blindfolded, cuffed,
and under guard into the streets and allowing hoards to pelt us with rotten
vegetables, rocks, and sticks, and (2) being confined near the northeast
power plant, which was being heavily bombed. We had to shield ou rselves
from flying bricks/debris by holding our bedb oards above our heads.
Late 1968, went to Son Tay where I was SRO in a three-cell building of some
fifteen prisoners. In mid-1969, endured fifteen days/nights without sleep
while handcuffed and legironed on a stool. Finally signed a letter that
agreed with a prominent US politician who held antiwar views. During this
particular purge, most of POWs at Son Tay similarly resisted our captors'
efforts at exploitation.
Son Tay closed in July 1970, and all of us were transferred to the "new
camp" about 15 miles away. There, in November 1970, we witnessed first-hand
the Son Tay Raid while it was in progress. A few days later, all at the new
camp, as well as all from other outlying prisons, were taken back to the
Hanoi Hilton and confined in large, community cells in a section we dubbed
In 1971 was transferred with some 200 others to a camp we called "Dogpatch"
near the Chinese border. Remained there until January 1973, when we were
taken back to Camp Unity at the Hanoi Hilton. Agreement reached to end US
involvement in the Vietnam War on 23 January 1973. After that it was a
matter of waiting for one's turn for release. I was repatriated and left
North Vietnam on 4 March 1973. Words cannot describe the elation we felt.
* Hospitalized at Andrews AFB, MD during March 1973 for medical exams and
* Pilot re-qualification at Randolph AFB, Texas (T-38) in late-1973
* 1973-1977 - Randolph AFB, TX, first as Organizational Maintenance Squadron
commander, later as Deputy Commander for Operations of the 12th Flying
Training Wing. During this period, achieved a BA degree (Spanish major) at
Texas Lutheran College, Seguin, Texas.
* July 1977 - August 1979 - Commander/AF Section, US Military Group,
Caracas, Venezuela. Senior USAF advisor to the Commander, Venezuelan Air
Force. Flew T-2D aircraft with the Venezuelan Air Force Training Group.
* August 1979 - September 1982 - Directorate of International Programs, HQ
USAF, The Pentagon, Washington, D. C. Was commander of a division charged
with planning/implementing USAF Foreign Military Sales programs throughout
Asia and Latin America. Most notably, implemented F-5E/F programs in
Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, and Mexico. Also, an F-15
program in Japan and F-16 programs in Korea, Pakistan, and Venezuela.
Retired from USAF on 30 September 1982 in the grade of Colonel. Total,
unbroken service as enlisted, aviation cadet, and commissioned officer was
32 years, one month, and 14 days. Awards/decorations include: Silver Star
w/OLC, Legion of Merit w/OLC, Bronze Star w/2 OLC, Distinguished Flying
Cross, Air Medal w/OLC, Purple Heart, Vietnam POW Medal, (others).
After retirement from USAF, joined General Dynamics, Fort Worth Division at
Fort Worth, TX as an F-16 International Marketing Manager. Worked mainly in
Asia and Latin America and was instrumental in helping to win major sales of
F-16 aircraft to foreign countries as approved by the US government. Spent
one period of 15 months in Korea, working from the General Dynamics office
located in Seoul. In latter years was heavily involved in a marketing/sales
effort to Chile, which culminated with US Government approval for the sale
in 1997. GD Fort Worth was acquired by Lockheed Corporation in 1992 and,
after further mergers, became Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems
(LMTAS). I retired from LMTAS on 31 January 1998.
Now live on five acres in rural Texas. Enjoy all outside activities
involving grounds maintenance and gardening. I strive to ski several times
each year, both in CONUS, and - during US summer months - in Chile. Also
spend much time with grandchildren and with my Macintosh computer.
Family: Married to Guadalupe (Lupe) Martinez Jayroe since 30 December 1976.
Lupe's first husband, USAF Captain Gerald Olson, was a navigator on a C-47
gunship out of Danang that was downed by enemy ground fire on 13 March 1966.
He was listed as MIA until October 1973, at which time his status was
changed to (presumed) KIA.
Five children: Teresa, Steven and David Jayroe; Mark and John Olson.
Seven grandchildren: Stephanie, Matthew, Allison, McKenzie, Melissa, Miguel and Diego.
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