KENNETH DILLON BAILEY, USMC
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Medal of Honor Citation
Major Kenneth D. Bailey was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 24 March 1943, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during a special ceremony at the White House, for heroic conduct during action in the Solomon Islands. The medal was presented to Maj Bailey's wife. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during an intense battle to repulse the enemy at Henerson Field on Guadalcanal.
Kenneth Dillon Bailey, who also earned the Silver Star Medal during the initial landing on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma, on 21 October 1910. He later moved to Danville, Illinois, with his parents.
He spent three years with the 130th Infantry, Illinois National Guard, prior to receiving his second lieutenant's commission in the Marine Corps on 1 July 1935. He was ordered to the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia, where he completed a course of instruction in the Basic School.
Joining the 5th Marines in Quantico, Virginia, he participated in maneuvers in San Diego and in the Caribbean. In June 1938, he joined the Marine Detachment, USS Pennsylvania as Detachment and Battery Officer. He was advanced to first lieutenant on 19 January 1939 while serving on board that vessel.
A short tour of duty at Quantico as Range Officer with the Rifle Range Detachment preceded his assignment as Assistant to the Training Officer, Recruit Depot, at Parris Island, South Carolina. 1stLt Bailey was ordered to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in December 1940 where he joined the 1st Marine Brigade. He later joined the 7th Marines, then the 1st Marines, which returned to Parris Island not long after he reported for duty. He was promoted to captain in March 1941.
At Quantico in June 1941, he joined the 5th Marines as a company commander. In February 1942, his unit was redesignated the 1st Marine Raider Battalion. The unit was ordered to San Diego, California, in April 1942, and on the last day of that month reached Tutuila, Samoa. He was promoted to major on 8 May 1942.
Landing on Tulagi on 7 August 1942, he later moved with his unit to Guadalcanal, where he earned the Medal of Honor. He was buried on Guadalcanal but his remains were reinterred in Spring Hill Cemetery, Danville, Illinois, in June 1948.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and Silver Star Medal, Maj Bailey was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart; Presidential Unit Citation; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp; and the World War II Victory Medal.
World War II Medal of Honor