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Hero or Fraud ? Second Lt. Percival Dee Bailey (0-767727), Air Corps

Discussion in 'Those Who Served' started by Tipnring, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Tipnring

    Tipnring Active Member

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    I came across an article about 96 year old Percival D. Bailey Jr. from 2014.

    WWII Vet Percy Bailey Landed B-17s in the English Channel

    WWII Vet Percy Bailey Landed B-17s in the English Channel - For Kauai OnlineBy Pamela Varma Brown

    It stated that he flew 52 missions and left 13 planes in the English Channel. It says that he was awarded the Purple Heart twice.

    Article states:

    His military record is so impressive that he was cited for the Congressional Medal of Honor — but he never received it. “I told the administration that I wouldn’t accept it unless they gave every man in my crew the same commendation,” he says. “My boys always came first.

    I wasn't able to find anything about any of his 52 missions.

    I did find that there was a court-martial for violation of the 96 Article of war on December 22, 1944 (Bigamy).


    Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 7.53.22 AM.png

    Specification: In that Second Lieutenant Percival Dee Bailey, Air Corps, 3030th Army Air Forces Base Unit,
    did, at Roswell, Hew Mexico, on or about 19 August 1944, while having a lawful, living wife, Vernadee Sage Bailey, wrongfully, unlawfully and feloniously contract a bigamous marriage with Katherine W. Short, without being first legally divorced from his lawful, living wife, Vernadee Sage Bailey.

    He pleaded not guilty to and was found guilty of the Charge and Specification. No evidence of previous convictions was considered. He was sentenced to dismissal, total forfeitures and confinement for two years. The reviewing authority approved the sentence and forwarded the record of trial for action under Article of War 48.

    War Department records show that the accused will be 27 years of age on 14 June 1945. He is married and has one child. He denies paternity of his wife's second child. He completed three years of high.school and thereafter worked for Douglas Aircraft and General Motors. He entered the Army as an aviation cadet and was commissioned a second. lieutenant, Army of the United States, on 8 February 1944; following his graduation from Army Air Forces Pilot. School, Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and was ordered to active duty the same date.

    Does anyone on the forum have a resource that could confirm his claim of flying 52 missions and or any of his heroic claims?

    10 Aug 2014, A10 - Honolulu Star-Advertiser at Newspapers.com
     

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    You can be a cad and a hero at the same time. Further many people rushed into bad marriages before deploying or at the time we entered the war, my own father included.
     
  3. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    13 ditches and survived them all in time to come back,
    court and marry an additional wife in August of 1944,
    and be convicted by court martial in December of 1944 of bigamy and sentenced to dismissal from the service and a couple of years in the slammer, with the sentence confirmed?
    I'd believe the second and third parts, but not the first.

    Kind of tall tales that seem to crop up more often now that there's no one to argue . . . and journalists of the newspaper variety, and at least one "historian" I of whom can think, tend to be extremely gullible when it comes to old timey military tales and sea stories, and never bother to check and vet.

    And a typical BS line on why no MOH. Where's his DSC, then?

    And he wants his veteran's benefits . . . good luck with that with the court martial record hanging around his neck. Kind of explains why he's not received them to date, eh?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  4. Tipnring

    Tipnring Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Reporter Pamela Varma Brown didn't verify his service record before publishing. Fake News.

    1. Herewith are transmitted for the action of the President the record of trial and the opinion of the Board of Review in the case of Second Lieutenant Percival Dee Bailey (0-~67727), Air Corps.

    2. I concur in the opinion of the Board of Review that the . record of trial is legally sufficient to support the findings of guilty and the sentence and to warrant confirmation of the sentence. I recommend that the sentence be confirmed but that the forfeitures and confinement be remitted and that the sentence as thus modified be carried into execution.

    3. Consideration has been given to the inclosed letters from accused's father, Dr. Percival D. Bailey and Lynn N. Peterson, Esq., both requesting clemency.

    Sentence confirmed but forfeitures and confinement remitted. G.C.M.O. 157, 24.Apr 1945)

    The Judge Advocate General


    Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 7.57.50 AM.png
     
  5. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    An mildly interesting case, apparently some squirming and wiggling that did not impress the court. Also note that there was an in-between wife whom he married while still married to wife # 1, but when he found he and #1 were not, in fact, divorced, that marriage was annulled; all this apparently while still a civilian. Perhaps he should have paid greater attention.

    Record also says, “He entered the Army as an aviation cadet and was commissioned a second lieutenant, Army or the United States, on 8 February 1944; following his graduation from Army Air Forces Pilot. School, Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and was ordered to active duty the same date.”

    Really make me wonder when he had the time to transition to B-17s and then fly 52 missions (with 13 ditches in the Channel) between commissioning on 8 Feb 1944 and marrying his third wife on or about 19 August 1944.

    Guess he lucked out, no stay at Leavenworth or forfeiture, just, just, dismissal. One presumes he still had to straightened out his marital situation.

    BTW, thanks for the heads up on the JAG records in that other thread. Downloaded everything from 1929 through 1946 just for laughs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  6. Christopher67

    Christopher67 Member

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    his crew members must have been roundly sick and tired of ditching in the Channel or North Sea. I can just hear them now "Really? Not again Sir!"

    If true, that would have to be some type of record. And no crew members KIA or replaced due to injury in 52 missions and 13 ditchings?

    Wow.....

    Tall tale indeed. But amazing if true.
     
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  7. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Hmmm, 13 supposed ditchings and not a single hit on his name in the Missing Aircrew Reports. Color me skeptical.

    “At 25 missions you could quit, but I couldn’t quit,” he says. By the time he would have made it to the 8th AF (if he did), the mission requirement was 35 missions.
     
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  8. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    To amplify Rich's point, B-17 and B-24 transition training was a ten week course. That would have been followed by a 90 day crew training course at a Replacement Training Unit. Those two would take him up to mid-July if they ran nose to tail.
     
  9. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Yeah, I didn't want to commit to an AAF training time frame (not a topic of which I am especially familiar), but I was fairly certain it was not significantly longer or shorter than the USN process for four-engine pilots advanced training and then training with their crews together and shipped out as a complete crew to whatever squadron.

    So, that's what, 30 days for 52 missions (uh huh) and ditching about every other day . . . in time to get back, court and marry wife #3?

    A new worlds record.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  10. Christopher67

    Christopher67 Member

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    another thing......

    13 ditchings, and every one of them due to "lack of fuel"?

    Correct me if Im wrong but wasn't a bomber gassed up with a full tank for an average mission? What was he doing, flying all the way there and back on coarse pitch propeller? Or gunning his engines and dumping fuel?

    Also, spending any time in the English Channel or thereabouts was not a guarantee that you and your crew would be picked up. And he spent all that time in a small raft at sea and was picked up every time in t5ime for the next mission?

    Hes ditching on an average of once every four missions, with no time spent recovering from each ordeal, even from exposure or possible injury sustained in these forced landings? And not only him but the rest of the crew survived thirteen separate experiences like this, with all the above stated possible variables, and they survived every one of them not only being picked up by their own side, but without a scratch or weven a case of exposure?

    Something's not right here.....
     
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  11. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Of course something is not right. His story was BS and another golly-gee-whiz-oh-the-breathless-excitement-of-it-all-if-only-we-could-have-seen-it-to see-it journalist got took.

    Kind of like G Astor's Wings of Gold . . . author should have stuck to his forte, writing about the Army, rather than venturing to places of which he had not a clue . . . obviously never met an oral history he couldn't resist.

    And if you think this guy's story fails the smell test, see what you can find out about a guy named Avedon . . . Burt Avedon. Try not to spray your drink on the monitor. Start here: https://www.wisvetsmuseum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Avedon-Burt-_OH220-1.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Steven, go away. You do nothing that developed us better. You Make us regress for a reason. Just die away.
     

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