Farrell M. Bailey was a gunner in the 512 squadron.
"Back early in 1942, if I wasn't flying as crew unassigned, I was in London usually at the Columbus Club. It was a far cry from the Boshfor in Cairo, or Allenby St., in Tel Aviv. And besides, I wasn't too happy to be flying in B- 17's; I still like the 'Pink Elephants' the best, having been with the 98th and 376th.
"After the war, I moved around quite a bit. I was in show business for a while and am a past member of the Screen Directors Guild. However, I couldn't get along with those Hollywood people too well. I went to work for the government, was on radio and worked on the Apollo Project for a while. I finally ended up in Law Enforcement in both Arizona and here in California. And the latter state is where I retired to raise horses. I have been pretty busy and often have the urge to move every so often - although my wife doesn't like it one bit.
"If I am correct, I was at Ramat-David Field in Palestine in June 1942. The 98th arrived about a month later and flew its first mission in that month. I don't remember 'Killer' Kane being on the first couple missions. At that time, the 1st Provisional Unit and the 57th Fighter Group were in the desert with the British Eighth Army up against Rommel.
"I ran into most of the fellows at Groppy's in Cairo. The 57th was commanded by 'Flip' Cochran before he was transferred to India and made into a cartoon character by Milton Caniff. Cochran was quite a guy, and am surprised that someone has not written more about him.
"In the beginning, I spent quite a bit of time on Liason work between the Americans and British and got to know many of the persons that are only passingly referred to now. Many of them were great guys in their own right, and deserved a lot more attention, the same holds for our ground crews which should have been given more credit for their work in the field, as I have seen them labor until ready to drop just to keep our ships in the best of shape possible to get the flight safely home."
(According to USAF records, Bailey completed 60 missions in the Middle East as a radio/gunner and 20 missions out of England making 80 in all before being wounded and returned to the states. He was shot down three times, wounded twice and has to his credit eight enemy planes destroyed. He once had to bailout about a mile off the shore of Malta, was strafed by enemy fighters while in the water, and then picked up by a rescue launch.On one of his early missions, his pilot and copilot were wounded. Bailey flew the plane back to base and landed it. He was awarded the Silver Star for this feat. His tours of duty – 2 1/2 years overseas. Can anyone top his record of 80 combat missions?)
Farrell M. "Cap" Bailey wrote a book, titled "The Touch of Fear." It was published by Minerva Publishers.