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Kenneth Dillon Bailey Collection

Kenneth Dillon Bailey Collection

Biographical Information

Kenneth Dillon Bailey
State of Birth:
Home State:

War or Conflict
World War, 1939-1945
Military Status
Dates of Service
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Marine Corps
Unit of Service
C Company, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Location of Service
Quantico, Virginia; Cherry Point, North Carolina; Cuba; California; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Pacific Theater
Highest Rank
Prisoner of War
Service History Note
The veteran earned the Medal of Honor for heroic conduct during action during the battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. He was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania (BB 38). He was commander of Company C and he was killed in action (KIA) on Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands) 09/27/1942. The destroyer, USS Kenneth D. Bailey (DD 713), was named in his honor. The Medal of Honor citations reads: For extraordinary courage and heroic conduct above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Company C, First Marine Raider Battalion, during the enemy Japanese attack on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on September 12–13, 1942. Completely reorganized following the severe engagement of the night before, Major Bailey's company, within an hour after taking its assigned position as battalion reserve between the main line and the coveted airport, was threatened on the right flank by the penetration of the enemy into a gap in the main line. In addition to repulsing this threat, while steadily improving his own desperately held position, he used every weapon at his command to cover the forced withdrawal of the main line before a hammering assault by superior enemy forces. After rendering invaluable service to the Battalion Commander in stemming the retreat, reorganizing the troops and extending the reserve position to the left, Major Bailey, despite a severe head wound, repeatedly led his troops in fierce hand to hand combat for a period of ten hours. His great personal valor while exposed to constant and merciless enemy fire, and his indomitable fighting spirit inspired his troops to heights of heroic endeavor which enabled them to repulse the enemy and hold Henderson Field. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Collection Information

Type of Resource:
Video: VHS [1 item] -- Oral history interview
Video: Digital File [ item] --
William Payne
William Payne
Contributor Affiliation/Organization:
American Legion, Lamouree-Hackett Post 72
Collection #:
Bailey, Kenneth Dillon
World War, 1939-1945--Personal Narratives
United States. Marine Corps.
Cite as:
Kenneth Dillon Bailey Collection
(AFC/2001/001/50888), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress


Last Edit: 2017-10-02


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  October 26, 2011
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