Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1941, Sergeant Edward Alexander Bailey, 205 Squadron, the Royal Air Force, was one of the first Allied casualties of the war with Japan.
The only son of parents who ran a newsagent and tobacconist shop, Sergeant Bailey attended The King’s School in Ottery St. Mary and played in the Sidmouth town band.
On the day of his death he was part of an eight-man crew of a maritime patrol plane which had been sent to investigate reports of two large Japanese convoys off the coast of Cambodia. The convoys were believed to contain warships. As they shadowed the ships in the Gulf of Siam they were shot down by five Japanese fighter planes. Within five hours the Japanese had attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.
The remains of Sergeant Bailey and his crew members were not recovered, and they are remembered on the Singapore Memorial in the Kranji War Cemetery.
Edward, from Sidmouth in Devon, was 22 years old.