Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Jonathan

Last Name: Ayers

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Snellville, GA
Middle Name: R.

Date of Birth: 04 May 1984

Date of Death: 13 July 2008

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 2006 - 2008
Jonathan R. Ayers

•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)


Jonathan R. Ayers
Corporal, U.S. Army

On 13 July 2008, Corporal Jonathan R. Ayers was serving as a Machine Gunner with Company C, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, of Vicenza, Italy, during a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On that day, CPL Ayers’ unit was engaged in combat action when more than 200 enemy fighters attacked Combat Outpost Kahler at Wanat, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, with machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Less than 100 Americans and Afghans fought back, defending their post and calling in airstrikes. When the fighting was over, the enemy had lost over 100 killed or wounded. But the American forces had also sustained 9 killed and 15 wounded. CPL Ayers’ courage and perseverance under fire saved the day by enabling the defeat of the numerically-superior enemy force when almost all had been lost. CPL Ayers died of his wounds sustained in that battle, along with 8 other members of his unit. CPL Ayers’ courageous actions that day earned him, at the cost of his life, the U.S. Army's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal.

The insurgent raid on CPL Ayers’ outpost was the deadliest incident for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since June 2005, when 16 American soldiers were killed as a rocket-propelled grenade shot down their helicopter.

Medals, Awards and Badges (Partial List)

Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge

Silver Star Medal Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Corporal Jonathan R. Ayers, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Machine Gunner with Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team, during an enemy attack on Vehicle Patrol Base Wanat, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Corporal Ayers' perseverance under fire and courage in the face of mortal danger, at the cost of his own life, saved the day when almost all had been lost. Corporal Ayers' valorous efforts, enabling the defeat of a numerically superior enemy force, are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.


Corporal Jonathan R. Ayers is buried at Eternal Hills Cemetery in Snellville, Gwinnett County, GA.


Honoree ID: 8763   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image