Roy W. Bailey

Eau Claire Man Played an Important Role in Miracle of Remaking Port of Naples
A release from Peninsular Base Headquarters in Italy gives an interesting, detailed account of the army career of Colonel Roy W. Bailey of Eau Claire, whose promotion from Lieutenant Colonel was recently announced. 

Colonel Bailey is the son of Mrs. Alexander Bailey, who resides with another son, Guy Bailey, on Route 2, town of Union. His wife, the former Grace Margaret Nelson, whose father was pastor of First Congregational Church here at the time of his death, resides at 338 Hudson Street.  

Colonel Bailey resided in Eau Claire until 1923 when he went to Hartford, WI as cashier of the First National Bank there. Here, he was employed at the Eau Claire National Bank. 

The item from Italy follows: 
Peninsular Base Headquarters, Italy—Colonel Roy W. Bailey of Hartford, Wisconsin and Eau Claire, Wisconsin was recently promoted from Lieutenant Colonel. He has served since the Salerno landings in Italy as Headquarters Commandant of the Peninsular Base Section, important services and supply base for the Fifth Army. 

Colonel Bailey is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin and was formerly cashier of the First National Bank of Hartford.

Occupation Problems 
Arriving in Naples, Italy on October 4, 1943, while the city was still subjected to air attacks and long-range artillery shelling, Colonel Bailey was faced with the problem of securing proper billets for the officers of the Peninsular Base Section and adequate quarters for the enlisted personnel in that overcrowded port city. He selected several hotels, schools, and convents and supervised the setting up, supply, and operation of the messes. A daily average of nearly four thousand rations were drawn, divided, and distributed to approximately twenty-five miscellaneous messes and an additional. five hundred noonday meals were prepared each day for civilian labor.  

Rest camps at Sorrento and later in Rome for Fifth Army and Peninsular Base Section officers were set up, supplied, and supervised, and smaller rest camps at Capri and  Ischia were rationed by Colonel Bailey's Headquarters Unit. The supply of eight organizations, more than forty offices, four large messes, and numerous smaller unit messes and the supply and equipment of all Headquarters personnel are functions of Colonel Bailey's command.

Over two thousand assigned and attached officers and enlisted personnel, including two WAC units, are under his supervision. Three motor pools, a second echelon motor maintenance shop, which services the vehicles of eighty assigned and attached units, a special court, a general dispensary, and an airport information and billeting service are among the many diversified activities assigned to Colonel Bailey.

Enlisted In 1917 
Enlisting as a Cavalry Candidate in the Officers Candidate School at Fort Sheridan, Illinois on May 10, 1917, Colonel Bailey received his commission three months later and was assigned to the 85th Division.  He served in France for seventeen months and, after the war, was transferred to the 32nd Division. On October 15, 1940, he was called back to active duty with that Division as Executive Officer of the Second Battalion, 120th Field Artillery with the rank of Major.

He became Commanding Officer of the 632nd Tank Destroyer Battalion upon its formation, organized and trained the fledgling unit, and led it to the establishment of an enviable record in the 1941 Louisiana maneuvers, receiving several commendations from General Krueger of the Third Army. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on June 3, 1942 and to Colonel, Field Artillery, on August 7, 1944. 

Colonel Bailey was named Headquarters Commandant of Headquarters, SOS Task Force "A" at Fort Meade, Maryland in October of 1942, preparatory to the African invasion. He selected and trained the personnel composing the new Headquarters, arranged for the supply of the organization, and planned and supervised its movement to North Africa. Colonel Bailey was made Headquarters Commandant and has more recently served in that capacity with the Peninsula Base Section. 

North Africa Invasion
He was responsible for the shipment of approximately six hundred tons of equipment from North Africa, a task calling for precision planning and for careful crating, tagging, and echeloning of all material to assure its safe arrival and immediate accessibility in priority order. So successfully was this effected that, within twenty-four hours after the boats landed, all personnel and supplies were unloaded, established in their new location, and engaged in operational functions. 

Close to Nazi Heels 
The Peninsular Base Section, first American supply base established on the European mainland, landed at the Salerno beaches hot on the heels of the retreating Nazis. Fighting still continued in the northern suburbs of Naples when the Base Section moved into that great Italian port city. The vast power, water supply, and sewer systems of the city were shattered with scientific thoroughness by the back-peddling Germans, and a plague of epidemic diseases threatened to sweep like wildfire among the million and a half inhabitants, presenting a grave peril to the large numbers of Base Section personnel garrisoned in the area. In record time, under the direction of Peninsular Base Section engineers, the crippled city was converted into a habitable metropolis, capable of adequately housing the immense supply base of the Fifth Army.

The Naples port was slated to handle the vast volume of supplies for the Allied front lines but, when the Base Section took over the port, it was a cemetery of sunken ships, with the hulls of more than two hundred craft clogging every possible berthing space. All harbor facilities were destroyed, every piece of machinery was mangled, quay walls were blasted, and communication and transportation networks were neutralized by Allied bombing and Nazi demolition.

The conversion of the devastated port into the greatest military supply base in the world was an epic of engineering achievement. Half-sunken hulls or ships were utilized as ramp ways, approaches, and landing piers, and tunnels were sliced through disabled craft that blocked the way. A record array of engineering "firsts" was established in the speedy and successful transformation of the scene of war-wrought wreckage into the Allies' premier port which, in six months, was handling 25 per cent more cargo than that of New York harbor.

Other operations carried on by the Peninsula Base Section included the laying of nearly two hundred miles of pipe to keep vital oil supplies flowing to the Allied fighting front. Twenty-eight general and station hospitals were constructed to care for casualties, and a lumber mill operated by the Base Section produced approximately fifteen million board feet of lumber for American units, continuing full-time production when the mill was blanketed by a ten-foot snow. The Peninsular Base Section had initiated and maintained a steadily swelling tide of essential supplies rolling to the Allied Front and to the ground crews and installations of the U.S. Air Force and Navy in the Italian Theater.

Eau Claire Officers in Italy
Four officers from Eau Claire, all stationed somewhere in Italy, rendezvous in Naples. (Left to right) Lieutenant Colonel John R. Nygaard, Headquarters, Fifth Army; Lieutenant Colonel Roy W. Bailey, Headquarters, Peninsular Base Section; Lieutenant Colonel Marshall G. Lassek, Petrol Section, Allied Force Headquarters; and Major Robert P. Kromrey, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section.

World War I Veteran Makes Good in Italy
Lieutenant Colonel Roy W. Bailey, veteran of World War I, when he served 17 months overseas after receiving his commission at the first training camp at Fort Sheridan, has been promoted to Colonel, Field Artillery. Colonel Bailey, who has served since the landings in Italy, as Headquarters Commandant of the Peninsular Base Section, Service and Supply Base for the Fifth Army, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and resides at Hartford, WI, where his wife, Mrs. Grace Nelson Bailey, now lives at 117 East Sumner Street. 

Colonel Bailey arrived in Italy on October 4, 1943, after being called back into active service on October 15, 1940 to serve as Executive Officer of the Second Battalion, 120th Field Artillery, in the grade of Major.

Later, he commanded the 632nd Tank Destroyer Battalion and led it during the 1941 Louisiana maneuvers, receiving several commendations from the Commanding Officer of the Third Army, General Krueger. Colonel Bailey was commandant of the task force which trained in Maryland preparatory to the African invasion. In civilian life, he is cashier of the First National Bank of Hartford.

Col. Roy Bailey Has Leave from Duties In Italy
Colonel Roy W. Bailey, U.S. Army, whose wife resides at 336 Hudson Street, is in Eau Claire during a 30-day temporary duty assignment in the United States. 

Colonel Bailey said that he will report back to his duties in Italy at the end of that time. He arrived in Eau Claire on Saturday evening, the first time he had been here since July 1942.

He went overseas in December 1942.

According to a release from Peninsular Base Headquarters in Italy last October when he was promoted to Colonel, he played an important role in remaking the port of Naples.

The Colonel is a veteran of the First World War.