John Patrick Ayres

Fallen Hero’s Hometown and State: Henryetta, OK

Branch of Service: United States Army

Rank: Private First Class

Private First Class John Patrick Ayres served with the 305 INF 77 DIV, Company G. in World War II. Pfc. Ayres was hit by an enemy sniper while attacking a heavily fortified enemy position. Medical aid was rendered but he died instantly and was buried in the island Command Cemetery at Okinawa, R.I. After the war he was moved to Soldier’s Field in Westlawn Cemetery in Henryetta, Oklahoma. John was awarded the Purple Heart.

Chaplain Lyman C. Barrett wrote this tribute in a letter to John’s wife, “You will be proud to learn that John was well loved and admired by the officers and men in his company, and they join you in your sorrow for the loss of him. John was killed while doing his duty in a heroic manner. Our Savior said, ‘Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend.” John did exactly that.

John and his wife Mabel were married on October 16, 1937, in Holdenville, Oklahoma, at the age of eighteen. They were the parents to 4 daughters, Patricia Mabel, Gloria Jean, Betty Jo and Carol Ann. His courage and sacrifice remain a great inspiration and legacy for those of us living today thanks to his life and sacrifice for his country.

Age: 26

Date of Death: June 19, 1945

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