BERNARD W. BAIL|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
435 North Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
3 May 1983
I am the one you want. Your effort appears to be laudable. Concerning the details of the first incident, I believe I am the only one in possession of them and have, indeed, written them down. Some 34-35 pages. I forget now. I have never written down the details of the second incident, but all of them remain in my mind.
I received a Purple Heart because I was wounded in the head in the second incident, later captured and spent some time as a POW, freed later. Veight and Mosevich were freed separately. Schmidts died and was buried in ... . All in all, many stories were never told.
Your sketchy description of the Vance affair is not accurate [5 June 1944]. Several years ago, a few people decided I was or did an heroic act and put one in for a Medal of Honor. Alas, there was a time limit on it - a statute of limitations. I had never known one can be made a hero by running out of time. No decoration for that little effort.
The space you show is little, too little, I think for the stories. Rather than butchering them, I'd rather it all remain a mystery. At any rate, I am glad you wrote. If you wish to talk with me by phone, please let me know. I'll be glad to do so. Good luck in your venture.
B. W. Bail
13 May 1983
I have thought over your reply and decided to send you a copy of the actual events. I'd appreciate your calling me to let me know if all of it can be used.
As you can understand, I do not want it so cut up, it remains a brief telegraphic and incomprehensible message.
The bailing out was at the juncture of Channel and Kent. Most landed near the water, but on landing, I being the last to parachute, landed a bit more inland but not too far away. Skulka may have been sent home. Kilgore broke both legs on landing. He may also have been sent home. Carper flew one more mission, cajoled by the foot surgeon. But he was a wreck after that. The others all quit. As I say, I was the only one to go on with my tour of combat.
I have not yet written the other experience - though it remains hard in my mind. If there are any questions, I'll be glad to answer them when you call.
B. W. Bail