No. 1045726, 214 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed in action on Sunday 4 July 1943 (aged 20)
No known grave
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 158)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Groomsport and District War Memorial
Groomsport Presbyterian Church
Richard Mailey was the third son of John and Mary Rebecca Mailey (nee Kincaid) of Bangor who were married on 12 July 1915 in Groomsport Presbyterian Church. John Mailey, a labourer from Ballymaconnell, was a son of Richard Mailey, a labourer. Rebecca Kincaid, a maidservant from Bllyholme, was a daughter of Joseph Kincaid, deceased.
After Richard’s father died on 22 March 1924 (aged 31) his mother married Hugh Blakely on 5 April 1926 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and they lived at 188 Donaghadee Road, Bangor.
Richard Mailey was educated at Groomsport Public Elementary School and, before joining up in June 1941, he worked in the Bangor Laundry. Richard’s stepfather, Bombardier Hugh Blakely, and Richard’s brother-in-law, Company Sergeant Major Ronald Langley were both on active service. Richard’s eldest brother, James Mailey, was attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Jerusalem.
Sergeant Richard Mailey (No. 1045726) was 20 when he died on 4 July 1943 and his mother placed a Missing Believed Killed notice in the 12 February 1944 edition of the County Down Spectator. Initially he had been reported as missing in action on 4 July 1943 and then in February 1944 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.
Sergeant Richard Mailey (No. 1045726) was one of a seven man crew aboard a Short Stirling Mark III aircraft (EE882) that took off at 11.10 pm on 3 July 1943 from RAF Chedburgh in Suffolk on a mission to lay mines in the Nectarines (Frisian Islands) area of the North Sea. The aircraft was lost without trace and all the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. In addition to Sergeant Richard Mailey, the other six crew members who died that night were:
- Sergeant Ronald George Armsworth (aged 21) from Goodmayes, Essex
- Sergeant Alan Leonard Warren (aged 27) from Ponders End, Middlesex
- Sergeant Francis Elliot Pilkington (aged 39) from Henshore, Lancashire
- Sergeant Henry Alan Clark (aged 22) from Keswick, Cumberland
- Sergeant Francis William Morrell (aged 35)
- Flight Sergeant Alfred Ross Dixon (aged 20), Royal Canadian Air Force
In the 7 July 1945 edition of the County Down Spectator his family living at 3 Eden Terrace, Donaghadee Road, Bangor placed a Roll of Honour notice and it contained the text:
Not just today, but every day, we remember you
Sergeant Richard Mailey (No. 1045726) is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey; on Bangor and District War Memorial; on Groomsport and District War Memorial and in Groomsport Presbyterian Church. On 26 March 1946, his brother Herbert Mailey and Kathleen Irwin of Manor Farm, Donaghadee were married in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.