ROCKSPRINGS — World War II veteran James Bailey, who was recently laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, was remembered as part of the opening ceremony at the 155th Meigs County Fair on Sunday evening.
To open the ceremony, Brady Young sang the National Anthem, with VFW Post 9053 conducting the flag raising. The Flag was dedicated to Bailey, as members of the family and local biker organizations looked on. The bikers were part of the escort which took Bailey to Arlington.
Bailey’s son Clinton, his wife Carissa and his children were brought to the stage for a special presentation by State Rep. Jay Edwards. Edwards read information about Bailey’s service and presented a proclamation to the family.
Bailey was still in high school when he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving until his discharge in 1946. After coming home and receiving his high school diploma, Bailey enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving as an instructor for Radar Fundamentals and a Communications Advisor to the Saudi Air Force.
He worked on the guidance system for Friendship 7, the rocket that carried astronaut John Glenn on the first U.S. orbital flight, and advised the Italian Air Force on the Jupiter missile.
Bailey served as a nuclear missile launch crew member for three years before retiring in September 1966.
During his 18 years of service, Bailey was the recipient of numerous ribbons and awards including the WWII Asiatic Pacific WWII Victory Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal with 5 loops representing his 18 years of service, American Theater Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, as well as several Missile Man badges.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.