Loval Earl Ayers

Company B 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

KIA 03/02/1945

 

 

 

Loval E. Ayers was born in Overton County, Tennessee on February 10, 1921.

He was drafted into the Army on April 17, 1941, at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, at the age of twenty.
His education level was grammar school, he was single, with no dependents, and his civilian occupation
was listed as farm hand. When he entered the Service he listed his home of residence
as Overton County, Tennessee. His religion was listed as no preference.

The date of his assignment to the 22nd Infantry is unknown but he was serving as a
Private with Company B 22nd Infantry at least by October 1941 as he is in a Company
photo taken at Fort Benning, Georgia during that time frame.

Private Loval E. Ayers

From a Company photograph of Company B 22nd Infantry circa June-October 1941

Courtesy of John and Gladys King

 

 

 

Ayers was promoted from Private First Class to Staff Sergeant on the battlefield in Normandy
on June 27, 1944.

 

Staff Sergeant Loval E. Ayers was Killed In Action in Germany, in the vicinity of Bruhlborn, on March 2, 1945.

During the battle of Prüm, Germany, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross,
as recorded in Headquarters, Seventh U.S. Army, General Orders No. 541 (1945),
for his actions on February 10, 1945.

The citation for his Distinguished Service Cross read:

"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Prum, Germany,
10th February, 1945. Enemy fire emanating from three buildings prevented Sgt. Ayer’s Company from reaching its objective.
Without orders from his platoon leader, he made his way toward the first house and killed two Germans, visible at a window
as he approached. He then entered the house, single handed, killed two more Germans and forced the surrender of the
remaining twelve. Sgt. Ayers then returned to his unit and asked permission to repeat the process on the remaining
two points of resistance. Permission was granted, and two men were sent along to cover his assault. He then crept up
to a point near a second building and hurled a grenade inside, followed closely by his entry, firing his automatic rifle rapidly.
By the employment of this daring method, he successfully neutralized all resistance which had impeded his company.
He killed a total of five Germans in the last two houses, and captured 41 prisoners. The outstanding heroism displayed
by Sgt. Ayers is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service."

 

On April 7, 1945, Staff Sergeant Loval E. Ayers was awarded the Military Medal
by the Government of Great Britain, under War Office Orders
WO 373/150.

 

 

Loval E. Ayers' decorations

 

Loval E. Ayers also earned the Belgian Fourragere

 

 

 

Built in 1952, the US Army post at Kirch-Göns, Germany, was named Ayers Kaserne, in honor of Loval E. Ayers.
Photo above shows the main gate to Ayers Kaserne.

Photo from the U.S. Army in Germany website

 

 

In 1952 a U.S. Army installation was built at Kirch-Göns, Germany and named Ayers Kaserne in honor of Loval E. Ayers.
Upon its completion the 22nd Infantry (already stationed in Germany and organized as the 22nd Regimental Combat Team
of the 4th Infantry Division) moved into the new Kaserne and remained based from there until May 1956. For the next forty years
elements of the 3rd Armored Division were stationed at Ayers Kaserne and the installation was known as “The Rock”.

The base was turned over to the German government in 1998.

On Veterans Day in 1998 the bronze plaques from Ayers Kaserne honoring Loval E. Ayers
were brought to the United States, and installed on a memorial to Ayers,
in front of the Overton County Courthouse, in Livingston, Tennessee where they still stand today.

 

 

Monument to Loval Ayers at Livingston, Tennessee.

 

 

 

Plaque on Ayer's monument. It reads:

STAFF SERGEANT LOVAL E. AYERS
AYERS KASERNE IS NAMED IN HONOR OF THIS SOLDIER
FROM COMPANY B 22D INFANTRY UNITED STATES ARMY
WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON 10 FEBRUARY 1945 AT
PRUM, GERMANY. HE WAS POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS FOR EXTRAORDINARY
HEROISM IN ACTION IN THE DEFENSE OF HIS COUNTRY.

Note: The information on the plaque is incorrect. SSG Ayers was not killed on February 10, 1945.
That is the date of the action for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during the
Battle of Prüm. SSG Ayers was killed in action on March 2, 1945 in the vicinity of Bruhlborn, Germany.

 

 

     

Portrait plaque
on the monument for
SSG Loval Ayers

 

 

 

 

Loval E. Ayers was buried in the temporary U.S. Military Cemetery,
Foy Cemetery, Bastogne, Belgium and some time later his remains
were returned to the United States where he was
reinterred in Tennessee.

Burial:
Good Hope Cemetery
Livingston
Overton County
Tennessee

 

Grave marker for Loval E. Ayers

Photo by imagal49 from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of the monument and plaques for Loval Ayers from the Flickr website

Top photo of Private Loval E. Ayers at Camp Gordon, Georgia from the webmaster's collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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