(2-4-21) 80 years after his death a WW II Veteran’s remains are coming home to Mercer County –

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On January 19, 2021, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Shipfitter Third Class Robert Edward Bailey, missing from World War II.

COMMENDATIONS ★ Purple Heart ★ Combat Action Ribbon ★ World War II Victory Medal ★ American Campaign Medal ★ Navy Presidential Unit Citation ★ Navy Good Conduct Medal ★ Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ★ Navy Expeditionary Medal

Shipfitter Third Class Bailey entered the U.S. Navy from Ohio and served on the USS Oklahoma. On December 7, 1941, the battleship USS Oklahoma was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when attacked by Japanese forces. The Oklahoma suffered multiple torpedo hits, causing it to capsize. Four hundred and twenty-nine sailors and Marines were lost, including SF3 Bailey. In the days, months, and years following the attack, remains of men lost aboard the Oklahoma were recovered. Those remains that could not be identified were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii (NMCP). In 2015, the DPAA received authorization to exhume unknown remains associated with the Oklahoma and reexamine them using advances in forensic technology. From June through November 2015, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) personnel, in cooperation with cemetery officials, exhumed all remaining caskets associated with the USS Oklahoma at the NMCP and transferred the remains to DPAA laboratories. Laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available established one set of these remains as those of SF3 Bailey.

Before his return to Mercer County…Shipfitter Third Class Bailey was memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Mercer County Chronicle –