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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. G J Bailey


George John Bailey was born on 27th November 1918 in Friern Barnet, Hertfordshire and was employed as a Removals Supervisor when he joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot on 26th July 1938.

He did his elementary flying training at 9 E&RFTS Ansty and 13 E&RFTS White Waltham.

Called up in early October 1939, he was posted to 5 FTS Sealand on the 9th for No. 43 Course. With his training completed on 27th April 1940, he joined 234 Squadron at Leconfield on 4th May.

Bailey shared Ju88's on 8th and 27th July, he damaged a Me109 on 18th August and he damaged two Me110's on 4th September.

He joined 603 Squadron at Hornchurch on 10th September and claimed a Me109 shot down on the 15th and another on 2nd October.

In late October Bailey went to 7 FTS Peterborough as an instructor. He was posted to Canada on 7th January 1941 as an instructor at 31 SFTS Kingston, Ontario. He taught FAA pilots dive-bombing, formation techniques and advanced flying. He was commissioned in May 1941.

After his return to Britain in October 1943, Bailey was posted as an instructor to 15 (P) AFU on 7th December.

Bailey left Training Command on 2nd May 1944 and went to 105 (Transport) OTU Bramcote, then to 107 OTU at Leicester East before joining 271 Squadron at Down Ampney.

On 20th November 1944 Bailey was captain of Dakota KG318 en route from Eindhoven to the UK with 15 passengers. From Antwerp the aircraft headed for Cap Gris-Nez.

The weather was extremely poor with heavy rain and a strong crosswind. After breaking into clear weather near Dunkirk the Dakota was fired on from the ground.

Bailey was hit in a leg and arm and also in his left eye. The cabin caught fire but luckily the forced landing that followed threw up mud and water which put the fire out. The crew and passengers were unhurt but came under fire as they evacuated the aircraft until rescued by Czech soldiers based nearby. Bailey was taken to hospital in St. Omer.

He left the RAF on 25th November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Bailey died on 15th April 2001 in Albany, Western Australia.


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