2LT Dp “Deep” Hays

2LT Dp “Deep” Hays

Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, USA
Death 13 Apr 1943 (aged 24)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 4, Grave 3300-A
Memorial ID 51541082 · View Source
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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 who was called by his initials "DP" (from David Peter), An older brother had already been named David.

Dp grew up in Kansas City and was a graduate of Wyandotte High School. He had completed two years of college, 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 re-measured. 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 April 4, 1943 maiden flight of the Lady Be Good was ill-fated. Due to the danger of German night fighters, they were to have no radio contact after leaving their air base in Libya. They would take off in a sandstorm, head over the Mediterranean, and vanish.

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 Libyan Desert. In March 1959 a D'Arcy ground geological team visited the aircraft and it was determined to be the Lady Be Good, what's more, it was in amazingly good condition. Rations and water were still on board and yet there was no sign of any crew. News of the abandoned plane led to it being tagged a ghost plane. Speculation as to what had happened to the crew became a national obsession.

The crew members were finally found in February 1960, with the exception of SSgt. Moore. A feature article in Life Magazine about the discovery of the WWII plane and crew appeared in March 7, 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, but with a rosette next to his name, indicating that his remains have been found.

"The dauntless courage and tenacity of these men in the face of danger, their suffering and unthinkable deprivation, will remain a high point of human achievement against the most severe adversities. The men of the Lady Be Good have given desert survival schools a new gauge with which to indoctrinate their students; a measuring stick that may save other lives."
- excerpt from Mystery Bomber of World War II The Lady Be Good by Dennis E. McClendon, Lt. Col. USAF, Ret.

Lady Be Good crew members:
1st Lieut. William J. Hatton, Pilot
Whitestone, New York;
2nd Lt. Robert Toner, Co-pilot
North Attelboro, Massachusetts;
2nd Lt. Dp Hays, Navigator
Kansas City, Missouri;
2nd Lt. John S. Woravka, Bombardier
Cleveland, Ohio;
T/Sgt. Harold S. Ripslinger, Flight Engineer
Saginaw, Michigan;
T/Sgt. Robert E. LaMotte, Radio Operator
Lake Linden, Michigan;
S/Sgt. Guy E. Shelley, Gunner/Asst Flight Engineer
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania;
Staff Sergeant Vernon L. Moore, Gunner/Asst Radio Operator
New Boston, Ohio;
S/Sgt. Samuel E. Adams, Gunner
Eureka, Illinois.

In-depth information can be found at: US Quartermaster Foundation


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

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  • Created by: tbickellb
  • Added: 24 Apr 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 51541082
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2LT Dp “Deep” Hays (22 Feb 1919–13 Apr 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 51541082, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by tbickellb (contributor 47136488) .