The Department of Defense identified the U.S. Army soldier that was killed on Sunday in an attack carried out by al-Shabab on a base that both the Kenyan and U.S. military use.
Specialist Henry J. Mayfield Jr., 23, from Evergreen Park, Illinois, was killed, along with two DoD contractors, during the attack in Manda Bay. Mayfield, who went by Mitch, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Two other DoD personnel were also wounded in the attack.
The base was used as an airstrip to carry out operations against al-Shabab in Somalia. The al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group managed to destroy multiple aircraft and vehicles. Four al-Shabab militants were killed.
Mayfield enlisted into the Army in August 2017 and served as an Air Traffic Services Mechanic. He was deployed to Kenya in support of Operation Octave Shield.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Specialist Henry 'Mitch; Mayfield's family, friends and loved ones. Specialist 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," Colonel William Garber, Commander, Air Traffic Services Command (ATSCOM) and 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group (TAOG) said in a statement.
SPC Henry Jarrett Mayfield, Jr./Department of Defense
Mayfield's family has since taken over his personal Facebook account and posted a collage of him, with the caption: "In loving memory of Spc. Henry 'Mitch' Mayfield Jr. He paid the ultimate sacrifice — Warrior to the end. We salute you."
Henry Mayfield, Jr./Facebook