Dick Bailey has something better than a Pulitzer Prize or a Hugo Award or the PEN America Literary Award. He has not one but two Distinguished Flying Crosses and thirteen Air Medals from his service in World War II. In 2013, almost seventy years after D‐Day, the Consul General of France awarded Lt. Bailey the French Legion of Honor. And at ninety-six, he’d going strong, meeting and greeting the public and telling his story.
I had the good fortune to sit down with him recently at the Acworth Bookstore, in, yes, Acworth, Georgia where he was signing copies of Combat Veterans’ Stories of WWII by Norman Black. Why sign another author’s book, you might ask. Because Dick’s story is one of those penned by Mr. Black and included in the book. And, it’s a good one.
In 1942, when he enlisted, Dick was one of the youngest pilots in his home state of New York. He wanted to fly and soon found himself with his wings and behind the controls of a twin engine, medium bomber, a B-26 Martin Marauder. In England during the war his mission was to assist in the disruption of the German forces’ transportation systems throughout France. He was paving the way for the Allied invasion in June 1944.
Dick flew sixty-five combat missions during his tour of duty. On one mission during the Battle of the Bulge, he shot down an ME-109 German fighter. That’s a feat usually reserved for pilots of fighter aircraft.
To read more about Dick Bailey (and many other veterans), go by Acworth Bookstore to pick up a copy of Combat Veterans’ Stories of WWII.
Acworth Bookstore and Coffeeshop, 4857 North Main Street, Acworth, GA, 30101