Army Spc Henry Mayfield, 23, was identified by the Pentagon as the soldier killed in the Al-Shabaab attack on Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya.
Mayfield was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group from Fort Rucker, AL. The battalion was responsible for expeditionary air traffic control and airfield management at the base.
Spc Henry Mayfield, known as “Mitch” to his friends, was killed along with two DoD contractors. Two other DoD members were wounded, and are said to be in stable condition, according to the Army Times.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Specialist Henry ‘Mitch’ Mayfield’s family, friends and loved ones. Mayfield was a dynamic soldier who inspired those he served with to excel both on and off duty. The 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group will miss his leadership and camaraderie.” Col. William Garber
Mayfield enlisted in the Army in 2017 after a year at Northern Illinois University. He was from Hazel Crest, a Chicago suburb. After realizing he couldn’t afford the tuition, he joined the Army in an effort to pay for his further education. According to his parents, it seemed a good fit, and he enjoyed serving.
“He was looking for better opportunities, but also he enjoyed serving. He was that kind of kid. He would help. It fit him. It was good for him. He enjoyed being in the Army.” Henry Mayfield Sr to the Chicago Tribune.
Al-Shabaab fighters overran the airfield at Manda Bay in Kenya, destroying 6 aircraft, and numerous vehicles. With mortars and small arms fire they killed 3 Americans, and wounded two others. Al-Shabaab is generally based out of Somalia, and is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda. The US mission in the region involves involves “targeting militants through airstrikes and training an elite partner force known as Danab.”
“As we honour their sacrifice, let’s also harden our resolve. Alongside our African and international partners, we will pursue those responsible for this attack and al-Shabab, who seeks to harm Americans and US interests.” Gen Stephen Townsend, AFRICOM Commander
Featured photo: Spc Henry Mayfield Jr, “Mitch” – US Army