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  • DSM For Submarine Action During Operation Husky

Item: GB1029

DSM For Submarine Action During Operation Husky


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DSM For Submarine Action During Operation Husky

Distinguished Service Medal, George VI (J. 105751 G.W.C. Bailey. P.O.); 1939-1945 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star, 1 Clasp - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43; Italy Star; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-1945; and Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, George VI (J. 105751 G.W.C. BAILEY. P.O. H.M.S. MEDWAY.). Naming is officially impressed on the two medals indicated. Board mounted, original ribbons, better than extremely fine. Also included is a duotang folder with his military biography, a copy of his Service Record, plus one sailor and twelve ship photographs. Footnote: Walter Claud Bailey was born on July 28, 1906 and joined the Royal Navy on July 28, 1924, his eighteenth birthday. He was rated up to Able Seaman on October 5, 1925. He joined submarines on Septemebr 1, 1930 and went to H.M.S. Dolphin in January 1931 for Submarine Training. His first submarine was H.M.S. Otus in May 1931 and was there until January 1934, attached to H.M.S. Medway. Before his next posting, he achieved the rank of Acting Leading Seaman on March 24, 1934. Beginning in June 1934 until February 1934, he saw service with H.M.S. H 49, later, with H.M.S. Swordfish, from February 1935 to March 1936, both attached to H.M.S. Titania. He then took a course for Leading Torpedo Operator from March to April 1936. He was then drafted by H.M.S. Lucia for service on H.M.S. Porpoise from July 1936 to February 1937 and later, H.M.S. Starfish, from April 1937 to May 1937. In between serving on the two subs he achieved the rank of Petty Officer on March 6, 1937. He completed his pre-war service with H.M.S. Pandora, attached to H.M.S. Medway, from April 1938 to January 1939. He then returned to Otus on May 20, 1939. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was stationed at Singapore with the 8th Submarine Flotilla. She then moved on to Colombo, Ceylon, where she went on patrols in the Indian Ocean, looking for the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee, which was believed to be operating there after she sank a ship off Madagascar. The Otus and Rorqual were then sent to the Mediterranean based on the Depot Ship H.M.S. Medway at Alexandra, Egypt. He received his RNLSGC Medal in May 1940 while on the Medway. Tragically, the Medway was torpedoed and sunk off Alexandria by U 372 on June 30, 1940. By this time, Bailey was on already on the Rorqual for one month, escaping a terible fate. The Rorqual was on mine-laying operations, with one of her mines sinking a 4,000 ton Italian vessel. He then switched to H.M.S. Umbra (P 35), shortly after earning his Torpedo Gunners Mate rating at H.M.S. Vernon. During the war, it was the smaller U Class Submarines in the Mediterranean that hunted from Malta in the shallow waters off the North African coast and during the period between January and May of 1941, accounting for 16 of the 31 Axis vessels sunk, while attempting to supply Rommel's army in North Africa. During the period when Bailey was on the Umbra, her skipper, Lieutenant "Lynch" Mayden sank a 1,010 ton ship off Tripolitania. He was dis-rated to Leading Seaman on October 10, 1941, following up with the taking of a course in Mines, Mark II on November 1, 1941. Bailey's next ship was H.M.S. Unison (P 43), which he joined on December 30, 1941, later achieving the rank of Petty Officer (Temporary) on October 10, 1942. At the time of Operation Torch, November 7-8, 1942, when the Allies landed in North Africa, Unison was with the 10th Submarine Flotilla base at Malta, one of the submarines detailed to prevent enemy warships from interupting the landings. Following Operation Torch, Unison damaged and was believed to have sunk a large enemy vessel at night off Marittimo. Unison was very productive in the sinking of enemy vessels. February 6, 1943 saw her surfacing and sink by gunfire, three large motor barges off Hammamet. March 31 saw the Unison sinking the 1,833 ton Italian tanker Zeila with just one torpedo, while April 19 saw her sink the new Italian ship Marco Foscarina. She was also very prominent in recce work. Unison had carried out work with Chariots, which were two man submersibles, which carried a limpet mine. Early January 1943 saw her recover a Chariot crew, which had taken part in the very successful attack on the harbour of Palermo, in which the new Italian Regolo Class Cruiser Ulpio Traiano was sunk. In May and April, she again carried Chariots for recce work. During Operation Husky on July 10, 1943, Unison was one of the beacon submarines that marked the beaches on the south-east coast of Sicily for the Allied landing force. It was during Operation Husky that Bailey was given an immediate award of the Distinguished Service Medal, after fourteen patrols in the Unison. He left Unison in June 1943 and accepted passage on H.M.S. Unbroken for England. Unison left later and both submarines were turned over to the Russian Navy in 1944 until the end of the war. From October 1943 until the end of the war, Bailey served as a Torpedo Instructor at H.M.S. Enfin, the Naval Base at Blythe for submarines. He saw his final rank of Chief Petty Officer reached on April 14, 1945 and was discharged from the Royal Navy on October 1, 1946. (BGR264)
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