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Home Town Madison County
Last Address Marshall, North Carolia
Date of Passing Oct 24, 2012
Location of Interment Bowman-Rector Cemetery - Marshall, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity Mr. John Bruce Bailey
5-7pm Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Madison Funeral Home
11am Sunday, October 28, 2012 in the Chapel of Madison Funeral Home
John Bruce Bailey, 84, of Marshall, passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2012.
Mr. Bailey was born December 27, 1927 in Madison County. He attended Mars Hill College until he enlisted in the Navy. John was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the USS Missouri and was present on the ship when the Armistice Treaty was signed by Japan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John Willis and Alva Merrill Bailey; brother, Charles Bailey who died while serving his country as a Airborne Ranger in the US Army during the Korean conflict; and his sister, June Maccoli.
Surviving are his sisters, Hilda Frisby of Asheville and Sandra Sams of Marshall; four nieces and a nephew.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, October 28, 2012 in the chapel of Madison Funeral Home with Reverend Sam Adams officiating. Burial will follow in Bowman-Rector with Military Honors conducted by Mars Hill VFW Post 5483.
The family will receive friends from 5 – 7 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
NEC 113X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Warfare
Location Pearl Harbor
USS Missouri (BB-63) Details
Iowa Class Battleship: Displacement 45,000 Tons, Dimensions, 887' 3" (oa) x 108' 2" x 37' 9" (Max). Armament 9 x 16"/50 20 x 5"/38AA, 80 x 40mm 49 x 20mm, 3 AC. Armor, 12 1/8" Belt, 17" Turrets, 1 1/2" +6" +5/8" Decks, 17 1/4" Conning Tower. Machinery, 212,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 1921.
Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Naval Ship Yard, January 6, 1941. Launched January 29, 1944. Commissioned June 11, 1944. Decommissioned February 26, 1955. Recommissioned May 10, 1986. Decommissioned March 31, 1992. Stricken for disposal January 12, 1995. Donated for preservation May 4, 1998.
Fate: Preserved as a museum at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 1998.
Other Memories Shakedown and service with Task Force 58, Admiral Mitscher
After trials off New York and shakedown and battle practice in the Chesapeake Bay, Missouri departed Norfolk, Virginia on 11 November 1944, transited the Panama Canal on 18 November and steamed to San Francisco for final fitting out as fleet flagship. She stood out of San Francisco Bay on 14 December and arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 24 December 1944. She departed Hawaii on 2 January 1945 and arrived in Ulithi, West Caroline Islands on 13 January. There she was temporary headquarters ship for Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. The battleship put to sea on 27 January to serve in the screen of the Lexington carrier task group of Mitscher's TF 58, and on 16 February the task force's aircraft carriers launched the first air strikes against Japan since the famed Doolittle raid, which had been launched from the carrier Hornet in April 1942.
Missouri then steamed with the carriers to Iwo Jima where her main guns provided direct and continuous support to the invasion landings begun on 19 February. After TF 58 returned to Ulithi on 5 March, Missouri was assigned to the Yorktown carrier task group. On 14 March, Missouri departed Ulithi in the screen of the fast carriers and steamed to the Japanese mainland. During strikes against targets along the coast of the Inland Sea of Japan beginning on 18 March, Missouri shot down four Japanese aircraft.
Raids against airfields and naval bases near the Inland Sea and southwestern Honshű continued. When the carrier Franklin incurred battle damage, the Missouri's carrier task group provided cover for the Franklin's retirement toward Ulithi until 22 March, then set course for pre-invasion strikes and bombardment of Okinawa.
Missouri joined the fast battleships of TF 58 in bombarding the southeast coast of Okinawa on 24 March, an action intended to draw enemy strength from the west coast beaches that would be the actual site of invasion landings. Missouri rejoined the screen of the carriers as Marine and Army units stormed the shores of Okinawa on the morning of 1 April. An attack by Japanese forces was repulsed successfully. On 11 April, a low-flying kamikaze, although fired on, crashed on Missouri's starboard side, just below her main deck level. The starboard wing of the plane was thrown far forward, starting a gasoline fire at 5 in (127 mm) Gun Mount No. 3. The battleship suffered only superficial damage, and the fire was brought quickly under control. The remains of the pilot were recovered on board the ship just aft of one of the 40 mm gun tubs. Captain Callaghan decided that the young Japanese pilot had done his job to the best of his ability, and with honor, so he should be given a military funeral. The following day he was buried at sea with military honors. The dent in the side of the ship remains to this day.
About 2305 on 17 April, Missouri detected an enemy submarine 12 mi (19 km) from her formation. Her report set off a hunter-killer operation by the light carrier Bataan and four destroyers, which sank the Japanese submarine I-56.
Missouri was detached from the carrier task force off Okinawa on 5 May and sailed for Ulithi. During the Okinawa campaign she had shot down five enemy planes, assisted in the destruction of six others, and scored one probable kill. She helped repel 12 daylight attacks of enemy raiders and fought off four night attacks on her carrier task group. Her shore bombardment destroyed several gun emplacements and many other military, governmental, and industrial structures.
Service with the Third Fleet, Admiral Halsey. Missouri arrived at Ulithi on 9 May and then proceeded to Apra Harbor, Guam, arriving on 18 May. That afternoon Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Commander Third Fleet, brought his command into the Missouri. She passed out of the harbor on 21 May, and by 27 May was again conducting shore bombardment against Japanese positions on Okinawa. Missouri now led the 3rd Fleet in strikes on airfields and installations on Kyűshű on 2?3 June. She rode out a fierce storm on 5 and 6 June that wrenched the bow off the cruiser Pittsburgh. Some topside fittings were smashed, but Missouri suffered no major damage. Her fleet again struck Kyűshű on 8 June, then hit hard in a coordinated air-surface bombardment before retiring towards Leyte. She arrived at San Pedro, Leyte on 13 June, after almost three months of continuous operations in support of the Okinawa campaign.
Here she rejoined the powerful 3rd Fleet in strikes at the heart of Japan from within its home waters. The fleet set a northerly course on 8 July to approach the Japanese main island, Honshű. Raids took Tokyo by surprise on 10 July, followed by more devastation at the juncture of Honshű and Hokkaidô, the second-largest Japanese island, on 13?14 July. For the first time, naval gunfire destroyed a major installation within the home islands when Missouri joined in a shore bombardment on 15 July that severely damaged the Nihon Steel Co. and the Wanishi Ironworks at Muroran, Hokkaido.
During the nights of 17 and 18 July, Missouri bombarded industrial targets in Honshű. Inland Sea aerial strikes continued through 25 July, and Missouri guarded the carriers as they attacked the Japanese capital. As July ended, the Japanese no longer had any home waters. Signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
The Missouri transfers personnel to the Iowa in advance of the surrender ceremony planned for 2 September.
Allied sailors and officers watch General of the Army Douglas MacArthur sign documents during the surrender ceremony aboard Missouri on 2 September 1945. The unconditional surrender of the Japanese to the Allies officially ended the Second World War. Strikes on Hokkaidô and northern Honshű resumed on 9 August, the day the second atomic bomb was dropped.
After the Japanese agreed to surrender, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser of the Royal Navy, the Commander of the British Pacific Fleet, boarded Missouri on 16 August and conferred the honour of Knight of the British Empire upon Admiral Halsey. Missouri transferred a landing party of 200 officers and men to the battleship Iowa for temporary duty with the initial occupation force for Tokyo on 21 August. Missouri herself entered Tokyo Bay early on 29 August to prepare for the signing by Japan of the official instrument of surrender.
High-ranking military officials of all the Allied Powers were received on board on 2 September, including Chinese General Hsu Yung-Ch'ang, British Admiral-of-the-Fleet Sir Bruce Fraser, Soviet Lieutenant-General Kuzma Nikolaevich Derevyanko, Australian General Sir Thomas Blamey, Canadian Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, French Général d'Armée Philippe Leclerc de Hautecloque, Dutch Vice Admiral Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich, and New Zealand Air Vice Marshal Leonard M. Isitt.
Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz boarded shortly after 0800, and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allies, came on board at 0843. The Japanese representatives, headed by Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, arrived at 0856. At 0902, General MacArthur stepped before a battery of microphones and opened the 23-minute surrender ceremony to the waiting world by stating, "It is my earnest hope?indeed the hope of all mankind?that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice."
During the surrender ceremony, the deck of Missouri was decorated with a 31-star American flag that had been taken ashore by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 after his squadron of "Black Ships" sailed into Tokyo Bay to force the opening of Japan's ports to foreign trade. This flag was actually displayed with the reverse side showing, i.e., stars in the upper right corner: the historic flag was so fragile that the conservator at the Naval Academy Museum had sewn a protective linen backing to one side to help secure the fabric from deteriorating, leaving its "wrong side" visible. The flag was displayed in a wood-framed case secured to the bulkhead overlooking the surrender ceremony. Another U.S. flag was raised and flown during the occasion, a flag that some sources have indicated was in fact that flag which had flown over the U.S. Capitol on 7 December 1941. This is not true; it was a flag taken from the ship's stock, according to Missouri's Commanding Officer, Captain Stuart "Sunshine" Murray, and it was "...just a plain ordinary GI-issue flag".
By 09:30 the Japanese emissaries had departed. In the afternoon of 5 September, Admiral Halsey transferred his flag to the battleship South Dakota, and early the next day Missouri departed Tokyo Bay. As part of the ongoing Operation Magic Carpet she received homeward bound passengers at Guam, then sailed unescorted for Hawaii. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 20 September and flew Admiral Nimitz's flag on the afternoon of 28 September for a reception.