Julius Jayroe was born in 1932 in Georgetown, South Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on October 8, 1949, and received an honorable discharge on August 16, 1950, in order to enlist in the U.S. Air Force. Jayroe was trained in Accounting and Finance and served at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, until February 1952, and then at Clark AB, in the Philippines, from February 1952 to February 1954. His last enlisted assignment was at Stewart AFB, New York, where he served from February to August 1954. He next entered the Aviation Cadet Program and received his commission as a 2d Lt and his pilot wings at Bryan AFB, Texas, on December 16, 1955. Jayroe's next assignment was as an instructor pilot with the 3560th Pilot Training Squadron at Webb AFB, Texas, from May 1956 to November 1958. He then served as a flight instructor with the 3565th Instrument Pilot Instructor School at James Connally AFB, Texas, from November 1958 to October 1961, before transferring to the 3511th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB, Texas, where he served until July 1963. Capt Jayroe next flew F-101A and C Voodoo and F-4C Phantom II fighters with the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Woodbridge, England, from July 1963 to September 1966. After completing survival training, he began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, at DaNang AB in the Republic of Vietnam in November 1966. While flying his 32nd combat mission, Capt Jayroe was forced to eject from his F-4 after it was hit by a surface-to-air missile and was taken as a Prisoner of War on January 19, 1967. After spending 2,236 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and then entered pilot re-qualification at Randolph AFB, Texas, in October 1973. Col Jayroe then served as Organizational Maintenance Squadron Commander and later as Deputy Commander for Operations of the 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB, where he served until July 1977. His was then assigned as Commander of the Air Force Section of the U.S. Military Group in Caracas, Venezuela, where he served as the Senior USAF Advisor to the Commander of the Venezuelan Air Force, from July 1977 to August 1979. Col Jayroe then served with the Directorate of International Programs at Headquarters USAF in the Pentagon, where he helped plan and implement USAF Foreign Military Sales programs throughout Asia and Latin America, from August 1979 until his retirement from the Air Force on September 30, 1982. After his retirement from the Air Force, Julius joined General Dynamics in Forth Worth, Texas, where he served as an F-16 International Marketing Manager. He remained with the company after it was acquired by Lockheed in 1992, and he retired from Lockheed Martin on January 31, 1998. Julius has been married to Guadalupe Martinez since December 30, 1976, and they have five children-Teresa, Steven, David, Mark, and John.
His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads:
For the Period July 1969: This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the above period while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. This individual resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.