RAF Australians - Wing Commander Howard Clive Mayers (DSO) (DFC & Bar)

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by spidge, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Wing Commander Howard Clive Mayers (DSO) (DFC & Bar)

    Howard Clive Mayers was born in Sydney on January 9th 1910. He was at Canford School and later Jesus College, Cambridge, reading Engineering. He was a member of the University Air Squadron in 1929 and was commissioned in the RAFO in 1930.

    He relinquished this on completion of his service. Mayers lived in London before the war and was Managing Director of a company.
    He was back in the RAF in early 1940, was commissioned in March and then served at 5 MU, Kemble. He was posted from there to 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge on July 9th 1940, to convert to Hurricanes. On the 19th he landed in a cornfield north of the aerodrome when the engine of his Hurricane failed. He was unhurt. On August 3rd Mayers was posted to 601 Squadron at Tangmere. Here Mayers claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 8th and a Ju88 destroyed, another probably destroyed and a Me110 damaged on the 13th. During a patrol later the same day, he probably destroyed a Me110 and was then shot down himself. Mayers baled out, was fired on by a Me110 but landed safely in the sea off Portland. He was picked up by an MTB and treated for slight shrapnel wounds at Portland Hospital. His Hurricane, P2690, crashed into the Channel off Whitnose, Weymouth. On August 26th Mayers shot down two Ju87’s and probably a third that were attacking Tangmere. On the 18th he destroyed a Me109, on the 31st a Do17 and damaged another, on September 4th he shot down another Do17 and shared a probable Me110 and on the 25th he shot down a Me110 and damaged an Do17. Mayers was awarded the DFC on 1st October 1940. He made a forced-landing south of Axminster on October 7th after glycol tank damage during a combat with Me110’s over Portland. Mayers was slightly injured and the Hurricane, P4218, was written off.

    On May 20th 1941 he was posted away and in July he took command of 94 Squadron at Ismailia, Egypt. Mayers shared in destroying a Ju88 on September 11th, damaged a Me109 on November 23rd and damaged another on December 8th.
    During a strafing attack on a German column on December 25th Mayers saw one of his pilots shot down by ground fire. He landed near the crashed aircraft and although enemy vehicles were approaching he waited for the pilot to reach him, put him in the pilot's seat, climbed in on top and took off and reached his base. For this action Mayers was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 13th February 1942). In January 1942 he was promoted to lead a Hurricane Wing. On April 26th he was appointed Wing Leader of 239 Wing with Kittyhawks. Mayers claimed a Ju52 destroyed and another damaged on May 12th and a Me109 destroyed on July 8th.

    He was leading the Wing on July 20th and is believed to have destroyed a Mc202 before he himself was shot down by a Me109 of III/JG53. Mayers radioed that he was having engine trouble and was making a forced- landing in the Qattara Depression. His aircraft was found and, there being no trace of him, it was presumed that he had been captured.

    Mayers was not heard of again and may have been lost in a Ju52, which was shot down whilst ferrying PoW’s to Germany.
    He was awarded the DSO (gazetted 28th July 1942) and his name is on the Alamein Memorial.

    We are indebted to Mayers friend and colleague from 601 Squadron, F/Lt. C J 'Jack' Riddle for the two B&W photos below.

    View attachment 3818

    View attachment 3819

    View attachment 3820

    Picture at right shows (L to R) F/O J Topolnicki, S/Ldr M Robinson, F/Lt CR Davis, P/O J Jankiewicz, Mayers and unknown at Tangmere in summer 1940.
    Battle of Britain Monument London - British Pilots List - A

    Howard Clive Mayers

    Service number: 77976

    Rank: Wing Commander

    Unit: No 250 Squadron

    Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Conflict: 1939-1945

    Date of death: 20 July 1942

    Cause of death: Killed in action

    Cemetery or memorial details: ALAMEIN MEMORIAL, Egypt. Column 247

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