James Daniel BaileySergeant
C CO, 2ND BN, 12TH CAV RGT, 1 CAV DIV
Army of the United States
26 May 1948 - 17 January 1969
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Panel 34W Line 020
The database page for James Daniel Bailey
Danny Bailey was from a small town in North Carolina. He was a good ol' boy, a bit on the quiet side. Danny and I were both assigned to Company C 2/12, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). We met at Camp Evans, which was the field HQ for the Cav, located near Hue. Danny and I participated in Operation Pegasus, the relief of the Marines at Khe Sanh. From there we moved on to Operation Delaware, an interdiction campaign in the A Shau Valley. We moved back to northern I Corps and spent the rest of the summer in rural and jungle areas west of and between Con Thien and Phu Bai, seeking out the enemy.
In October 1968 the 1st Cavalry Division moved south to Binh Long Province in a redeployment that the Army named Operation Liberty Canyon. Of course, the names of all these operations were known at the time only by tacticians, historians and a few other officers. I learned those names many years later from history books. The move south was, at the time, the largest overnight redeployment of an infantry division in American military history. The brigade moved into some real estate outside Quon Loi near the so-called "Dog's Head" boundary that thrusts into Cambodia. Our mission was to disrupt the flow of supplies from Cambodian sanctuaries in advance of an assault on Saigon.
On December 24, 1968, Danny Bailey was injured at Quon Loi. He was treated at the battalion aid station by a medic named Bill Campbell, a good friend of mine. From there Danny was medevaced to a full service hospital at Cam Ranh Bay. Several days later I left Quon Loi and made my way to Cam Ranh to visit him. I found Danny in good spirits and seemingly resting comfortably in the hospital. We visited for about an hour. Then I made my way back to Quon Loi. It was less than 150 air miles from Quon Loi to Cam Ranh, but the round trip took almost three days. There was no such thing as direct scheduled flights. Basically once a soldier left the perimeter without orders, he was on his own. So after landings and aircraft changes at Long Binh and Phuoc Vinh and eating and sleeping wherever, I made it back to Quon Loi. I was immediately taken to task because I had been AWOL. I guess I knew that at some level but hadn't spent much time thinking about the consequences. Fortunately a very understanding CO let me go with nothing more than a ringing sensation in my ears that lasted for a few hours.
On January 17th, 1969 we received a message from Cam Ranh that Danny Bailey died. I've never regretted the trip.
In loving memory of Danny Bailey
Thirty four years ago on January 17, our son, grandson, brother, nephew, and friend died in Viet Nam. He will always be the young man who left us never to return in life. But he is alive in our memories and they are so precious. Our thoughts are with the other families who lost loved ones during that time. That is the cruel legacy and the heartbreak of war.
We have just recently learned that a friend, Jerry Tausz, visited him in the hospital before he died. Thank you very much.
This guy, although not known to the world, served this country with pride and dignity.
From someone who remembers.
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15 Jun 2000
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 05/26/2005