|Birth: ||Feb. 22, 1919|
|Death: ||Apr. 13, 1943, Libya|
Dp was the son of David Peter and Isola Elizabeth (Lewis) Hays. His father died 7 months before he was born. His unusual name was meant to memorialize his deceased father by combining his initials (from David Peter), as an older brother had already been named David.
Dp grew up in Kansas City and was a graduate of Wyandotte High School. When World War II broke out, Dp desperately wanted to join the Army Air Corps, but was turned away for being too short by 3/4". He convinced a brother and a friend, James Edward Mayer, to literally stretch him by simultaneously pulling on his legs and arms right before he went in to be measured again. Crazy as the idea was, it worked and he was accepted into the Army. He became a 2nd Lt. in the Army Air Corp and the navigator for the plane, "Lady Be Good".
The maiden flight of the Lady Be Good was ill-fated. Due to the secrecy of the mission, they were to have no radio contact until their mission had been completed and they were on their way back to the base. After the Lady Be Good left base, she was never heard from again.
In May 1958, the Lady Be Good was spotted during an aerial survey by a British oil exploration team from the D'Arcy Oil Company (later to become part of British Petroleum) in the Lybian Desert. In March 1959 a D'Arcy ground geological team visited the aircraft and it was determined to be the Lady Be Good. Her crew members were found in February 1960. A feature article in Life Magazine about the discovery of the WWII plane and crew appeared in March 1960, retracing and speculating on the events leading to the demise of the Lady Be Good and her crew. Because they were in the desert, items on the persons of the crew were found in tact. In Dp's wallet, was a perfectly preserved photo of Terry Beth Mayer, the daughter of his niece, Edde Frances nee Bickell Mayer
After all the news and articles, the fate of the plane and crew took on a life of its own. Additional articles were written, books published and even a TV episode of The Twilight Zone aired; all chronicling The Lady Be Good.
Dp never married.
Because his remains were not found until 1960, he is also listed on Tablets of the Missing on North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial
In-depth information can be found at: http://www.qmfound.com/lady_be_good_b-24_bomber_recovery.htm
THE SOLDIER'S GRAVE
Tread lightly, ‘tis a soldiers grave,
A lonely mossy mound,
And yet to hearts like mine and thine
It should be holy ground.
Speak softly, let no careless laugh,
No idle, thoughtless jest,
Escape your lips where sweetly sleeps
The hero in his rest.
For him no reveille will beat
When morning beams shall come;
For him, at night, no tattoo rolls
Its thunder from the drum.
No costly marble marks the place,
Recording deeds of fame;
But rudely on that bending tree,
Is carved the soldier’s name.
A name, not dear to us, but, oh!
There may be lips that breathe
That name as sacredly and low,
As vesper prayers at eve.
There may be brows that wear for him
The morning cypress vine,
And hearts that make this lonely grave
A holy pilgrim shrine.
There may be eyes that joyed to gaze
With love into his own;
Now keeping midnight vigils long
With silent grief, alone.
There may be hands now clasped in prayer,
This soldier’s hand had pressed,
And cheeks washed pale by sorrow’s tears,
His own cold cheek caressed.
Tread lightly! For a man bequeathed,
Ere laid beneath this sod,
His ashes to his native land
His gallant soul to God.
Written by Eliza Jane Nicholson
(The Poet Pearl Rivers)
New Orleans & Picayune MS
David Peter Hays (1873 - 1918)
Isola Elizabeth Lewis Hays (1884 - 1958)
Ethel Lee Hays (1902 - 1981)**
Elizabeth Norris Hays Bickell (1906 - 1936)**
Frances Olmay Hays Barrett (1910 - 1962)*
Daisy Magdalena Hays Bryan (1912 - 1983)*
Donald Chauncey Hays (1914 - 1958)*
David Hampton Hays (1917 - 1979)*
Dp Hays (1919 - 1943)
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 4, Grave 3300-A
Created by: tbickellb
Record added: Apr 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51541082