Toop
Lawrence  R.  Bailey,  Jr.
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Ribbons
 
  Rank, Service
Colonel O-6,  U.S. Army
  Veteran of:
U.S. Army Air Forces 1942-1945
U.S. Army Reserve 1945-1950
Army National Guard 1950-1951
U.S. Army 1951-1970
World War II 1942-1945
Cold War 1945-1970
Korean War 1953
Vietnam War 1960-1962 (POW)
  Tribute:

Lawrence Bailey was born on May 24, 1923, in Waycross, Georgia. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on December 14, 1942, and was commissioned a 2Lt and awarded his pilot wings on March 12, 1944. Bailey trained as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot before flying B-29 Superfortress bombers in combat in the Pacific Theater with the 504th Bomb Group from December 1944 to July 1945, during which time he flew 15 combat missions. He served at Muroc Army Air Field, California, from July to November 1945, and then went into the Army Reserve on November 14, 1945. Bailey transferred to the Army National Guard on March 31, 1950, and was activated for the Korean War on April 15, 1951. After completing additional training, he served as an O-1 Bird Dog observation pilot with the 90th Field Artillery Battalion in South Korea from January to November 1953. Bailey was assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from November 1953 to January 1956, and then with the 35th Artillery Brigade at Fort Meade, Maryland, from January 1956 to March 1960, when he went to Southeast Asia to serve as an Army Attache in Vientiane, Laos. Bailey and 6 other personnel were flying aboard an SC-47 when the aircraft was shot down by antiaircraft fire on March 23, 1961. Major Bailey parachuted from the aircraft and was captured by the Pathet Lao. After spending 510 days in captivity, the Pathet Lao released him on August 15, 1962. He was hospitalized for his injuries from August to December 1962, during which time President Kennedy personally awarded him the first Bronze Star Medal given for service in Southeast Asia. Bailey next served with the 2nd Army at Fort Meade from December 1962 to January 1965. He served as an Operations Officer with Joint Task Force Two at Sandia Base on Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, from January 1965 to July 1968. Col Bailey served as Commanding Officer of the 3rd U.S. Army Flight Detachment at Fort McPherson, Georgia, from August 1968 to August 1969, when he was made Assistant Chief of the Aviation Division for the 3rd Army, where he served from August 1969 until his retirement from the Army on June 30, 1970.

  


Prisoner of War
Laos
23 March 1961 - 15 August 1962

 


 

 
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Contact Veteran Tributes at info@veterantributes.org