Henry Clay
Henry Clay Jr.
Henry "Hank" Robinson Clay Jr.
  • Country: United States
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Service: United States Air Service
  • Units: 43 (RFC) 41st Aero, 148th Aero (USAS)
  • Victories: 8
  • Date Of Birth: November 27, 1895
  • Place of Birth: Plattsburg, Missouri
  • Date Of Death: February 17, 1919
  • Place of Death: Coblenz, Germany

Clay was one of the first pilots the United States Air Service sent to England for advanced flight training. He died in an influenza epidemic. His Distinguished Service Cross was awarded posthumously.

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

"On August 16, while leading his patrol, they were attacked by six Fokker biplanes over Noyon. Lt. Clay shot down one in flames and with his flight drove the others east. On August 27, with another of his flight, he attacked a two-seater over Remy. After a short burst the wing came off and the EA was seen to crash by three other pilots.

On 4 September, while two flights of his squadron, led by Lt. Clay, were patrolling with two flights of No. 60 Squadron, RAF, they were engaged by ten Fokker biplanes. In the fight which ensued, he shot an EA off the tail of an SE5. It was seen to crash and burn up on the ground by a pilot of No. 60 Squadron. A moment later Lt. Clay attacked two EA on the tail of one of his patrol, one of which was seen to crash. This fight started at 4,000 feet and ended at 800 feet. Lt. Clay's flight accounted for three EA crashed and one out of control.

This officer has been on active service since March 17, 1918. He has destroyed five EA (one two-seater shared with Lt. T.L. Moore) and driven down out of control one. He has exhibited on all occasions, admirable qualitites of leadership and has moulded his flight into a most effective fighting unit." DFC citation

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

"For extraordinary heroism in action near Sains-les-Marquins, France, September 4, 1918. In an action wherein Lt. Clay's patrol was outnumbered two to one, he attacked the group and shot down the enemy aircraft in flames. He continued in the combat and later attacked two enemy aircraft which were pursuing a plane of his patrol and succeeded in shooting one enemy aircraft down.

Again on September 27, 1918, near Cambrai, with one other pilot, Lt. Clay observed five enemy planes approaching our lines and although hopelessly outnumbered, immediately attacked and singled out a plane which was seen to crash to the ground. He was immediately attacked by the other enemy planes and compelled to fight his way back to our base." DSC citation