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Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey

Renee Kulinski-McCann's Fallen Soldier

Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey

Early Life and Enlistment
Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey was born in 1921 to Robert George and Ada Louise Bailey of Brantford, Ontario. Bailey was a husband of Violet Jean Bailey and was documented to be a young man full of promise and determination. At the age of 23, Bailey's life was tragically cut short in the line of duty on June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. A member of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C, Bailey's courage and sacrifice are representative in the dedication of countless young soldiers who served during World War II.
Bailey's decision to enlist was driven by a strong sense of duty and patriotism. Like many of his peers, he felt compelled to defend his country. His training with the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada prepared him for dangerous task ahead.

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada is one of Canada's oldest and most distinguished regiments. Established in 1860, the regiment has a long history of service, participating in significant military campaigns and earning numerous battle honors. During World War II, the Queen's Own Rifles played a crucial role in the pivotal D-Day invasion - the regiment's involvement in D-Day was part of the larger Allied effort to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. On June 6, 1944, the Queen's Own Rifles landed on Juno Beach, one of the five designated landing areas in Normandy. Their objective was to secure a foothold on the beach and advance inland, a mission fraught with peril as they faced intense German resistance.

D-Day, known as Operation Overlord, was the largest amphibious invasion in history and marked a turning point in World War II. The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, including Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey, were at the forefront of this massive assault. The soldiers faced treacherous conditions as they disembarked from landing craft into rough seas and a hail of enemy fire.
Information regarding Bailey's actions on that fateful day spoke of courage and determination. Despite the overwhelming odds, he pressed forward, driven by a sense of duty to his comrades and his country. The fierce fighting on Juno Beach resulted in heavy casualties, and tragically, Bailey was among those who gave their lives in the initial hours of the invasion. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 14,000 Canadian troops participated in the assault as part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. On that day, Canadian forces experienced approximately 1,096 casualties, with 381 soldiers killed in action. The difficult conditions, including fortified German defenses and hazardous terrain, contributed to the high number of casualties on Juno Beach.

We will Always Remember
Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey's sacrifice is a poignant reminder of the cost of freedom and the bravery of those who fought to secure it. His name is inscribed on the Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy, where many fallen soldiers of the D-Day invasion are laid to rest. This cemetery stands as a solemn testament to their heroism and the ultimate price they paid.
Bailey's legacy endures through the remembrance of his family, the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, and the broader Canadian community. Commemorations of D-Day and the efforts to educate future generations about the sacrifices made during World War II ensure that heroes like Bailey are never forgotten.
Bailey rests here in the image shown on the Bayeux War Cemetery, V. A. 15. France along with 2032-2049 other casualties (information varies between websites). His tombstone inscription reads, “SLEEP ON, DEAR DON AND TAKE YOUR REST WE MISS YOU MOST WHO LOVED YOU BEST.”

The story of Rifleman Donald Robert Bailey is one of valor and sacrifice. As a member of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, he played a vital role in one of the most significant military operations in history. His bravery on D-Day and his ultimate sacrifice at the young age of 23 serve as a powerful reminder of the courage exhibited by so many during World War II. Through remembrance and education, Bailey's legacy and the contributions of his fellow soldiers will continue to inspire and honor their memory for generations to come.

The inscription, “Remember Today, Remember Always” serves as a tribute to this fallen soldier and to those thousands who lost their lives during Normandy invasion.


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