Segment 9


On the 17th of June [Annotator's Note: 17 June 1945 on Okinawa] they moved back off of Kunishi Ridge. A colonel was directing the men where to go. Bailey went behind a big rock to use the facilities when a Corsair [Annotator's Note: American Vought F4U "Corsair" fighter aircraft] flew by and strafed to the area where he was. That was the last scary thing Bailey experienced on Okinawa.Bailey's unit moved off of the front lines and were relieved by the 2nd Marine Division. Bailey's unit moved back to the area where the sniper had been. Bailey believes that evidence of the dead sniper is still in that spot.On the first night they were in position a Japanese soldier dug himself out of the cave after it had been blown shut and was shot by a Marine.Back at Pavuvu, Bailey got a 32 and a half cent silver coin off a Marine who had been in Australia. Bailey beat the coin with his GI spoon and made a ring out of. He wore the ring until 1980 when it fell apart.The only two Japanese prisoners Bailey ever saw were older. One was in his 40s and the other was in his 30s. Bailey believes that the older guys were more likely to surrender than the younger ones. It wasn't until the very end that the younger guys surrendered.Bailey got off the front line on the 18th [Annotator's Note: 18 June 1945]. General Buckner was on the front lines on the 20th or 21st when an artillery shell went off. A rock hit the general and killed him [Annotator's Note: US Army General Simon Bolivar Buckner was killed on 18 June 1945. He was the highest ranking American officer to be killed during World War II] making him the only general to be killed in the Pacific.At the entrance to a village, a girl ran toward Bailey but she turned and went the other way after a man called her back. Bailey and his fellow Marines had burned most of the village the day before.While they were in a valley, they came across a spring. When Bailey got there, there were ten Marines stripped down who were using their helmets to fill up and pour water on their heads. While they were bathing, two Okinawan women in their 20s came up and each filled up two buckets with water then left. Bailey says that the Marines were gentlemen on that day.Later that day, Bailey and Vincent Bennett were called to burn out a cave with a flame thrower. Down at the cave, a woman and a little girl came out of the cave with an interpreter. The little girl was lying down near several Marines and looked like she couldn't breathe. The interpreter told Bailey to burn the cave. Bailey signaled his partner with the flame thrower who walked up and burned the cave out. When he stopped firing the interpreter told him that there had still been women in the cave. Bailey and his partner didn't know that. That has stuck with Bailey to this day. While burning out the cave Bailey's partner was injured when he brushed up against a rough cut piece of wood but he kept firing. After they were finished Bailey didn't see his partner again until he got up north.The sniper's nest, blowing the cave up with six Japs in it, and burning the cave with the women in it stuck with Bailey.


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