The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SGT Wilfredo Ayala-Reyes, who died in the service of his country on June 17th, 1969 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Wilfredo was 23 years of age. He was from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Wilfredo is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 22W, Line 62.
The decorations earned by SGT Wilfredo Ayala-Reyes include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with V, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Wilfredo is buried in the municipal Cemetery in Canovanas, Puerto Rico.
I was serving under Wilfredo the morning he was KIA. Charlie Company had C.A. out of LZ. Penny for the last time. We had been sweeping, and were now set up in a temporary base out in the jungle flat.
Two Squads, of the third Platoon, left the base camp early that morning after chow. We were sent out to set up an overnight ambush. We had just crossed a trail; it was mid morning, and close to our set up location.
We either walked up on some NVA, or they were laying in wait for us. They sprayed us with automatic weapons fire. Many of the rounds hit Wilfredo, he was killed instantly.
He was friendly towards all who knew him. Always pleasant to be around. He and I had joked around about Friday 13th, as we dug a foxhole together on that date . We also talked about going on R&R.
Charles Neal Rea C. Co. 2/35th.
Award of the Bronze Star Medal For Heroism, General Orders Number 3699, 4th Div.
For heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant Ayala-Reyes distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman and Team Leader with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry. On 17 June 1969, Sergeant Ayala-Reyes was the point man for an ambush patrol when it was engaged by a platoon size enemy force. Attempting to group his forces together, Sergeant Ayala-Reyes constantly exposed himself to the heavy volume of small arms and B-40 rocket fire. While treating the wounded Sergeant Ayala-Reyes was mortally wounded by shrapnel from a B-40 rocket, Sergeant Ayala-Reyes personal bravery, superb outstanding leadership, and exemplary devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.