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12.04.1942 No 71 Squadron (Eagle) Spitfire Vb AB810 P/O Mays Location: South East of St. Omer, France.
Mission: Circus 122 (Hazebrouck)

Date: 12th April 1942.

Unit: No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron.

Type: Spitfire Vb.

Serial: AB810.

Coded: XR-

Location: South East of St. Omer, France.

Pilot: Pilot Officer. Ben Freeman Mays. R.A.F.V.R. 106509. Age. 29. Killed.

Reason for loss:


Circus 122 to Hazebrouck Marshalling Yards. Shot down at 1.34 PM by FW190 from 7/JG26, flown by Oblt. Mietusch his 15th Victory.

After a lone attack on No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron. Oblt. Mietusch dove behind the Spitfire formation, zoomed up and fired a short burst at the rear aircraft in a flight of four, half-rolled, and dove away. The Spitfire, along with its pilot probably dead, entered a steep dive and crashed.

P/O Mays had escaped death earlier when his ship on route from the U.S.A. to England, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat.

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Newspaper article. (David King collection)


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P/O Ben Freeman Mays and his grave in France. (David King collection)


BURIAL DETAILS:

Pilot Officer. Ben Freeman Mays. R.A.F.V.R. 106509. Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. U.S.A. Plot 8. Row A. Grave 22.

Son of Edgar Elmo and Delia Elizabeth Mays, of Wharton, Texas.
Research by David King (A.R.S.)

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