Colonel Paul Owen BAILEY, United States Army, retired, 87, of Tampa, passed away March 15, 2011. He was born December 2, 1923, in Medaryvillle, IN. He is survived by his wife, Carole Ann (Jameson) Bailey. He was dearly loved by his daughter, Louanne (Martin) Santoyo, Pueblo, CO; son, Walter (Shirley) Bailey, Columbus, GA; son, Gordon Bailey, Murfreesboro, TN and stepchildren Charles (Shayla) Mead, Pensacola, FL; Roddi "Dee" (Ron) Wisemore, Milledgeville, GA and Elizabeth Graham, Chico, CA. He leaves a sister, Anne (Jack) Fisher, Toulon, IL; a brother, Robert (Janet) Bailey, Lac du Flambeau, WI and is preceded in death by his brother, Willard Bailey and parents, Oscar Loyd and Mary Elizabeth Bailey.
Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June, 1942 and served as a Gunner's Mate throughout World War II until his discharge in November, 1945. Initially, he sailed commercial vessels and destroyers from the East Coast of the United States to Murmansk, USSR, providing security. In 1943, he was assigned to a new LST (Landing Ship Tank) in Norfolk, Virginia, transited the Panama Canal to the South Pacific and supported the War in the Pacific in most of the battles, including the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, ending in Tokyo Bay, where he observed the signing of the Peace Treaty. In 1946 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was commissioned upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School in 1947. He served in a variety of company grade infantry assignments before and during the Korean Conflict. His initial wartime assignment was as an infantry platoon leader in the 15th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Benning, GA, and then Korea, where the "Can Do" Regiment joined the 3rd Infantry Division.
Immediately following the Korean Conflict, he attended the Transportation Officers Advanced Course at Fort Eustis, VA, and later became the Executive Officer, and later the Aircraft Maintenance Officer of the Aviation Department, U.S. Army Transportation School, Fort Eustis, VA.
From 1955 to 1957 Col. Bailey served as the Commanding Officer of the 4th Student Company, U.S. Army Transportation School, Fort Eustis, VA.
In 1957 he attended the Army Primary Flight Training Course, and immediately following, he attended the Advanced Flight Training Course and the Advanced Helicopter course. Upon graduation from the flight training he was assigned to Europe in 1958 and served as a platoon leader in the 11th and 110th Transportation Light Helicopter Companies until his return to the United States in 1961 at which time he attended Regular Command and General Staff Officer Course.
He assumed various staff positions at Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, GA, as well as commanding two light assault helicopter companies as part of the 11th Air Assault Division. He remained at Fort Benning until he received orders for the Republic of Vietnam in 1965 where he served as Commanding Officer of the 765th Transportation Battalion until 1966 where he served on the staff of the Literature Development Division, United States Army Transportation School, Fort Eustis, VA for two years.
In 1968 Col. Bailey was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam as Chief, Aviation Logistics Division Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam.
During Paul's years in the military he found the time to take classes toward a BSG degree in Accounting. He took classes whenever/wherever he could and graduated from University of Nebraska in 1969.
During his career Col. Bailey earned many Awards and Commendations. Included are: Silver Star; Legion of Merit w/1olc; Air Medal w/3olc; Purple Heart; Combat Infantryman's Badge; Vietnam Gallantry Cross 2/Silver Stars (RVN).
In 1970 he was assigned to Headquarters Third United States Army as Chief of the Logistics Management Division where he remained until his Honorable Discharge at Ft. McPherson, GA in 1973.
Paul had a deep love and respect for the United States and gave much of his life to defending the flag. His hobbies included: Glider Pilot; Duplicate Bridge tournaments; Genealogy; and learning more and more about computers. He was a collector of books for many years. One rarely saw him without a book in his hand. He was generous and able to see the needs of others to which he often responded. He had a great love for family and sought their company when possible.
He said, "If anyone should ask how I want to be remembered, please say: 'He did the best he could.'" It is a reminder to those who knew him of the Apostle Paul's statement "I have fought the good fight". Paul was a quiet, sometimes profound intellectual who gave his all to his family, his God and Country.
Just prior to his passing, he indicated his desire to be a member of the Community of Christ, was confirmed as such and served his First Communion. During this time and on prior occasions, he would indicate to a navy friend that he had made his peace with God in a foxhole and felt good about it. Just prior to his reporting home to His God he felt a need to formalize his relationship on earth with both God and the church.
All are welcome to attend a "Celebration of Life" memorial for Col. Bailey during the 11:00 service at Community of Christ, Tampa on Sunday, March 27th. The church is located at 1711 Livingston Ave., Lutz, FL 33559.
Graveside services with military honors will be held on Monday, March 28th, 2:00 P.M. at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.
The family requests no flowers. Should you wish to make a donation to Life Path Hospice in Paul's memory it would be appreciated.
Arrangements under the direction of Moss Feaster Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Dunedin, FL.