Tim Ayres was born in 1945 in Los Angeles, California. He received his commission through the U.S. Air Force Academy on Jun 5, 1968, and completed pilot training in June 1969. Lt Ayres was then trained as an O-2A Milirole Forward Air Controller and was assigned to Quang Ngai, South Vietnam the same year. After a one-year tour as a Forward Air Controller, he trained in the F-4 Phantom II and was assigned to Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, for another one-year tour in Southeast Asia. During his second tour, he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on May 3, 1972. After spending 329 days in captivity, Capt Ayres was released during Operation Homecoming on March 28, 1973. He returned to flying the F-4, and later completed a tour as a Navy exchange pilot at NAS Miramar, California. He left active duty and went into the Air Force Reserve in 1978, and began flying as a commercial airline pilot with Continental Airlines. Tim later flew at People Express and finally with Southwest Airlines in 1987, retiring on January 1, 2005. Col Ayres also retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1995. Tim and his wife Sharon live in Texas and have two daughters, Natasha and Tiffany.
His 1st (of 4) Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
Captain Timothy R. Ayres distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an F-4D Aircraft Commander in Southeast Asia on 17 January 1972. On that date, Captain Ayres flew a laser guided bombing system illuminator mission against a vital interdiction point and bulldozer located along a hostile forces supply route. Despite intense and accurate antiaircraft fire directed at his aircraft, Captain Ayres was forced to make numerous low level passes on the target due to the extremely poor visibility in the area. His proper acquisition and accurate illumination of the target resulted in three important road cuts and one bulldozer destroyed with the expediture of only three laser guided pieces of ordnance. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Ayres reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Forces.