Ayres, Charles Haskell, 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1204-Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Armor (Officer)
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 1204, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
Service Years
1968 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Order of the Spur


First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT James E. Reece, III (Team Leader, Vietnam Profiles) to remember Ayres, Charles Haskell, 1LT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Midway, TN
Last Address
Midway, TN

Casualty Date
Jan 22, 1969
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Tay Ninh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Warrensburg Cemetery - Midway, Tennessee
Wall/Plot Coordinates
34W 055

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of The Spur

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry AssociationVietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryThe National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
  1969, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Association [Verified]
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor [Verified]

 Tributes from Members  
Tributes from Others posted by IN Olsen, David O, SGT 548
Tribute from 3/4 Cav Association posted by AR Moore, John (SaberAlpha 10), MAJ 229
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
  1968-1969, 1204, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1968-1969, 1204, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  1963-1967, University of Tennessee, Knoxville2
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  May 30, 2012, General Photos16
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Lt. Ayres served with Troop "A" Track: A30 - 3rd Platoon,Platoon Leader Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Year with Troop: Nov 68-Jan 69 Lt. Ayres was severely wounded during the action around Boi Loi Woods and died at the 12th Evacuation Hospital of his wounds.
Notes from Mel Moss & John Moore of A Troop 3/4 Cavalry:
Jan 16
- Troop maneuvered to the rear of Boi Loi to laager with C Troop. B Troop laagered 1 km away.
- Tank throws track and crew works to get it back on. Squadron at a halt
- Tank track fixed, A Troop continued maneuver and had fire fight at 1820 hrs with NVA forces.
- At 1850 hrs a Cobra gunship supporting A Troop diverted to LRRP Team 15 in vicinity at grid XT529357. LRRPs view enemy forces fleeing Troop. (view LRRP AAR)
Jan 17
- First light A & C Troop in combined laager receive RPG and SA fire. Both Troops return fire.
- 0730 hrs A Troop directed to reconnaissance-in-force in area of enemy firing. C Troop remain in position awaiting LRRPs and then to maneuver abreast of A Troop. B Troop maneuvering to vicinity.
- NVA force hits Troop immediately on forward movement. Body count began, NVA in web gear and helmets.
- A Troop encountered fortified bunkers and NVA body count continued.
- C Troop directed to move abreast of A Troop on right flank.
- 1045 hrs LRRP Team 15 links up with C Troop at XT528353.
- NVA cause A & C Troop to cross fire on each other.
- Colonel McGowan directed cease fire and conduct180 to return to NDP.
- A Troop does a 180, 1st and 2d Platoons respond and began maneuver. 3d Platoon had tank that could not gain traction and unable to maneuver to NDP. Troop Hqs and Medic track remained with 3d Platoon. Medic track takes RPG to ACAV kit, smokes detonate and moments pass before track commander reported all OK. 3d Platoon tank gets traction and links up at original NDP.
- A, B & C Troop deployed in same vicinity. C Troop Acting Cdr directed F4s in close Air support, shrapnel explodes and C Troop Acting Cdr medevaced.
- Colonel McGowan directs new mission. A Troop lead, B Troop followed by C Troop In column down edge of Bo Loi Woods. Mission was not to stop, roll over fortifications.
- A Troop moved out with 1st Platoon in lead, followed by 2d and 3d plts. - Dirt trail around flank of enemy was lined with NVA bunkers. Tanks fire at point blank range into bunkers.
- Phantoms provided napalm on right flank and artillery walked in front of A Troop. - Movement continued, NVA body count builds until 3d Platoon tank bellies up and unable to move forward. NVA target 35 tank with RPG.
- Troop medics, Sp4 Jones and Sp4 O'keeffe, run from track to track under heavy fire to treat wounded. Sp4 O'Keefe arrives at 35 tank and administered life saving assistance to Sp4 Neal. Troop Cdr, members of 3d Platoon and medics on the ground vicinity of 35 tank now burning. Casualties evacuated to other tracks and troopers return to their tracks.
- A Troop commenced movement, A6 track received RPG at point blank range and skins under belly of track. A6 Driver reported NVA in spider hole to the front. A6 track proceeds forward and Troop Cdr drops grenade down spider hole. NVA throws grenade back and shrapnel strikes Troop Cdr in back. Troop Cdr reported to Colonel McGowan, one tank hit by RPGs, blowing up and he was hit. Continued movement out of kill zone.
- Colonel McGowan directed after lengthy pause, "Roger that my friend, continue movement and I will have you out of there."
- 3d plt tank was abandoned and on fire, B Troop sweeps around burning tank.
- 1st plt continued advance on squadron axis. 3d Platoon still halted and having trouble maneuvering forward. Lt Ayres mortally wounded, Platoon Sergeant Brewington wounded and platoon rallied by ------------- to move forward with 2d Platoon following.
- Colonel McGowan directs left turn into clearing to form laager and evac casualties.
- 1st Platoon executed left turn and began establishing laager. 3d Platoon and 2d Platoon delayed in arriving at laager. Finally, after much individual efforts, 3d Platoon arrived in laager followed by the 2d Platoon. Col.'s LOH started to take out casualties Medivacs arrive and casualties dusted off. Lt Ayres and Sp4 Neal among the first out.
- A Troop regrouped in laager. B Troop pulled past and now in lead. C Troop having problems maneuvering past destroyed tank that was exploding.
- A Troop ready to move out and B Troop B6 TC reported Troop Cdr needed medivac, wounded by grenade. Colonel McGowan immediately leaves and goes to B Troop to get the Troop Cdr out.
- A Troop Cdr requested permission to maneuver around B Troop to break out of the jungle. A Troop on move again.
- Sweeps around B Troop. By 1530 hrs the squadron had broken through the NVA position.
- A Troop breaks out of Boi Loi and establishes NDP at about 1700 hrs.
- Colonel McGowan came in to medivac Cpt Moss. All three Troop Cdrs medevaced that day.
- Lt. Moore acting commander for night and next day.
- PSG Smith had command of both 2d and 3d plts.
- 46 enemy bodies and assorted gear found after the battle. (view article vol 4 no. 8 of the Tropic Lightning News)
Jan 18
- Squadron conducted resupply and maintenance.
- Colonel McGowan drops off A Troop Cdr after wounded were visited in hospital.
Jan 19
- Squadron departs Bo Loi Woods. A Troop leads out and same tank that hit mine going into Bo Loi, hit mine going out of Bo Loi. Jan 20
- Battery B 3rd Bn 13th Artillery at FSB Hampton is placed in DS support of 3/4 Cav.
Jan 22
 -Colonel McGowan notified Troop Cdr that Lt Ayers died at 12th Evac from wounds received on Jan 17th.
From Mel Moss, Troop Commander

1Lt Charles H Ayres served as the 3d Platoon Leader, A Troop, 3d Squadron 4th Cavalry. He was a well respected Platoon Leader who performed his duties in an admirable manner always trying to better himself while taking care of his men. Lt Ayres received his wounds on 17 Jan 1969 while in close combat with NVA forces. Lt Ayres was leading the 3d Platoon as the troop was at the front of the squadrons charge to break out of the Boi Loi Woods. Standing atop of his platoon command vehicle, in spite of receiving enemy fire, Lt Ayres was directing his platoon as the troop swiftly moved through the jungle. During the battle Lt Ayres mortally received small arms fire from NVA forces. His crew responded quickly and secured him to cover within the vehicle as the troop continued to take heavy enemy fire. At the first opportunity, Lt Ayres was medevac'd as the troop maneuvered to a secure lagger and the Squadron Commander's LOH landed to make the emergency pickup. I remember watching as the Lieutenant was placed on the LOH and the bird whirled quickly climbing out of the lagger and above the jungle enroute to Cu Chi medical facilities. Everything was done as quickly as possible to evac the Lieutenant and the other casualties. I saw Lt Ayres the morning of 18 Jan 69 at the hospital in Cu Chi base camp. He was weak but we did talk briefly. On 22 Jan 69 I was informed over the Squadron frequency that we lost 1Lt Charles H Ayres by the Squadron Comander, LTC Robert S McGowan. Word of Lt Ayres death traveled quickly throughout the troop and it was a blow to everyones moral. I remember being speechless and not able to answer LTC McGowan's transmission. The Squadron Chaplin visited the troop shortly after and we had a memorial service for the Lieutenant and another trooper. The Chaplain asked if I would like to say anything, but I still could not talk about the loss of Lt. Ayres. The Troop XO, 1Lt Phillip Hogue, prepared the letter of notification to the family for me to sign. Although I have never communicated with Lt Ayres' family again, I continued to think of him regularly. I carry his name and the names of the others that I lost in VN in my wallet so I am able to locate them on The Wall and to never forget them. Over the years since VN, I still visualize Lt Ayres dressed in his jungle fatigues. Thank you, Lt Ayres, for being with us when we needed you and you continue to be in my thoughts..

M Moss
A Troop Cdr


Tribute from Jake Keasling:

     Charles (Charlie as we knew each other) were in school together from grades 1 through 7. They closed the school and we were separated at that point. While growing up I have spent the night at Charlie's house many times. He lived next to a river and we would go out in a boat as he was an expert. I was a dry land person. He had the nicest family. His Mom and Dad and another brother and sister always showed what a nice family should be. By seventh grade we had no thoughts about going in the Military, it was never discussed. After he graduated from college I knew he went into the Military. Little did I know that we would end up in Armor Battalions, he the Army and me the Marines. I was a Hospital Corpsman (medic) with 1st Tanks, 1st Marine Div. When I heard of his death, I felt like a part of me left me that day. Later in life, I visited the Rolling Wall (replicate of the Vietnam Memorial Wall) and when it came close to where I live in East Tennessee. When I found his name, I broke down with tears. I left another way to avoid the other people as I was crying out of control. I really miss my friend along with other friends from our area like Tim Shelton. I'm glad to see the memorial page for Charles Ayers that you have created.

Jake Keasling
Medical Corpsman
1st Tk Bn, 1st Marine Div
Vietnam 66/67
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