Frank Otis Bailey

Sgt    13144397    614th
1911 - 1945

Right Waist Gunner aboard 42-31488 ( Shade Ruff )

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Covington City, Virginia, USA

     Frank was born Jan 22, 1911, Rock, Mercer County, West virginia.
     He married to Winnifred bailey and they got 2 daughters and 1 son..
     They later moved to a farm in Yokum Station, Lee, Virginia.

     He enlisted to the air corps.

     In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
     His last mission, Mar 8, 1944, Target: Berlin/Erkner, the plane was flying alone and was hit.
     The plane was hit again near Meppen and the left engine was on fire, it then crashed, all men are POW.

     He was awarded with an Purple Heart Medal

     In 1945, when Frank died on the age of 33 he left behind his family :

         His father, John F Bailey, age 62
         His mother, Gertrude E Bailey, age 56
         His sister, Chlorine Bailey, age 31

         His Wife, Winnie Bailey, age 38
         His Daughter, Shirley E Bailey, age 8
         His Daughter, Wilma J Bailey, age 7
         His Son, John G Bailey, age 5

                                                                                 The Death march

         Frank and his crew landed safely near Lingden, Germany, but were all taking captured by the Germans.
         They were taken to prison camp, Stalag Luft 4, Tychowo, Poland
         As the Soviet Army was advancing, German authorities decided to evacuate POW camps, to delay
         liberation of the prisoners.

         On Feb 6, 1945 the Russians were very close so Frank and me ( Sgt. Arthur Eliot Newell Jr.) were forced
         to march westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany.

         From Stalag Luft IV, the prisoners faced a 500 mile trek in blizzard conditions across Germany, during
         which hundreds died.


         January and February 1945 were among the coldest winter months of the 20th century in Europe,
         with blizzards and temperatures as low as -25 degrees (-13 F), and even until the middle of March,
         temperatures were well below 0 degrees (32 F).

         Most of the POWs were ill-prepared for the evacuation, having suffered years of poor rations and
         wearing clothing ill-suited to the appalling winter conditions.
         The groups would march 20 to 40 km a day - resting in factories, churches, barns and even in the open.


         Soon long columns of POWs were wandering over the northern part of Germany with little or nothing
         in the way of food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

         Some who tried to escape or could not go on were shot by guards.

         In the third week in February, Frank became worse but continued marching.
         We were about 1 mile east of Neubrandenburg, Germany, when Frank could go no further and
         He fell out along with about 20 others.

         On March 3, 1945 the German's told me that they took them to a prison hospital in Neubrandenburg.

         Frank died on Apr 27, 1945.

Mission to Erkner, Germany, Aircraft first seen at 1453 hours lagging behind and below, Four P-38's picked up this lagging B-17.
Chrashed near Meppen, Germany.

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