A Chicago family is mourning the loss over their son, Henry “Mitch” Mayfield Jr., who was one of three Americans killed in Sunday’s extremist attack in Kenya.
“I last spoke with him New Year’s Day via FaceTime,” said Mayfield Jr.’s mother in an email to NBC 5.
Loved ones confirm @USArmy Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr. was 1 of 3 Americans killed during a pre-dawn terror attack on a U.S. airfield base in Kenya.
He was just 23 years old.
— Eric Cox (@EricCoxTV) January 6, 2020
The late 23-year-old United States Army specialist joined in June 2018 after studying at Northern Illinois University and was deployed to a base in Kenya.
The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the Sunday morning raid on Manda Bay Airfield that also killed two American contractors. U.S. and Kenyan troops worked together to repel the assault and in the end, they killed five attackers. Mayfield Jr.’s family was notified Sunday evening.
“He loved his family and spending quality time with his siblings,” said his mother.
Those who know Mayfield described him as an outstanding young man, always polite and just very nice. The news broke the heart of anyone who heard it.
His mother shared photos of her son on Facebook. In a post, she thanked everyone for reaching out to her and her husband about their loss and asking them to continue praying for her family.
ABC 7 reports Mayfield Jr.’s body will be returned to Dover Air Force Base on Monday. His family will be there to bring him home.