12.04.1942 No. 71 Squadron Spitfire Vb AB810 P/O. Ben F. Mays
Operation: Circus 122
Date: 12th April 1942 Sunday)
Unit:: 71 Squadron (Eagle)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Martlesham Heath
Location: South East of Saint-Omer, France
Pilot: P/O. Ben Freeman Mays 106509 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Circus 122 to Hazebrouck Marshalling Yards. Shot down at 13.34 hrs. 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, it's pilot probably dead, entered a steep dive and crashed.
American 71 Squadron pilots taken the year previous - showing the Hurricanes that they initially used (IWM)
P/O. Ben Freeman Mays. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (Saint-Omer), France. Plot 8. Row A. Grave 22. Son of Edgar Elmo and Delia Elizabeth Mays, of Wharton, Texas, USA.