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Bailey, Jr., Col. Lawrence R.

Bailey, Jr., Col. Lawrence R.

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GREENSBORO COLONEL LAWRENCE R. BAILEY, JR. PASSED away on May 19, 2015 at his home. The will be an inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Known to his friends as Bob, he was born in Waycross GA on May 24, 1923. He graduated from Wacona high school in Waycross class of 1940. In 1942 while employed as an aircraft engine mechanic at the U.S. Army's air material command repair facility in Mobile AL, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps aviation cadet program and received his commission as aSecond lieutenant with pilot wings in 1944. After completing four engine aircraft training he joined the 504th Bomb group in Fairmont, NE and deployed with the group to Tinian island in the pacific flying B-29 Superªfortresses against Japan. During the Korean War Bailey flew reconnaissance and observation missions while assigned as the aviation officer of the 25th Division artillery. While stationed in Laos he was an assistant army attach‚ and pilot at the U.S. embassy. He was shot down over central Laos while a passenger on an air force transport plane and the only survivor of eight on board. Captured by communist forces he was held in solitary confinement for seventeen months. President John Kennedy personally presented him with the bronze star medal at Walter Reed Army hospital shortly after his release in August 1962. He also received a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted during this incident. He became the first military POW of record in the War in Southeast Asia also known as the Vietnam War. In addition to these awards, Bailey also was awarded an oak leaf cluster to the bronze star and various other medals and commendations. In addition to his combat tours of duty, Bailey had numerous permanent and temporary assignments in his 28 years of service. He was a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army Strategic Intelligence School, U.S. Army Aviation Safety course at the University of Southern California, and several courses of instruction involving specific aviation and air defense matters. He also found time to attend the University of Maryland on a part time basis. One of his most interesting assignments was in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a member of the operations division of joint task force two, an organization which reported directly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff involving the conduct and study of low altitude flight.Bailey was a lifetime Baptist, life member of the American Ex-prisoners of War, life member of the Military Officers Association of America, long time Rotarian, past member of the Exchange Club, member of Laurel Senior Friendship Club, and member of the Disabled American Veterans. He retired from active military service in 1970 at Ft. McPherson Georgia where he was serving as assistant aviation officer of Third U.S. Army. He was preceded in death by his wife of many years Mary Jean Fenker, sister of Mrs. James E. Stewart of Waycross, GA. He is survived by his wife Betty Rose Bailey of Greensboro, son Lawrence R Bailey III of Sahuarita AZ, daughter Barbara R Dahlgren of Olney MD, daughter Reverend Elaine M. Kebba of Greensboro, sister Glenda L. Summerlin and husband Charles of Waycross GA, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.Condolences may be made at www.forbisanddick.com.

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