Video: Kosciusko and Attala leaders present Bill Bailey Day proclamation

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Leaders from Attala County and the City of Kosciusko gathered Friday to honor a war hero.

During a ceremony at Kosciusko City Hall, a proclamation was presented to name Feb. 18, 2023 “James W. (Bill) Bailey Day.”

That day marks the 50th anniversary of Operation Homecoming, which saw Attala County native Bill Bailey rescued after spending over 5 years as a prisoner of war.

Kosciusko Mayor Tim Kyle presented a resolution to Rita Brown, Bailey’s sister, on behalf of the City of Kosciusko and Attala County. Joining were Kosciusko aldermen Robert Ellis, Henry Daniel, Earl Price and James Culpepper and Attala County Supervisors Tim Pinkard, Bobby Lindsay and Willie Perteet.

Bailey was shot down and taken prisoner during the Vietnam War on June 28, 1967. He spent five years and eight months as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo Prison, which came to be known as the “Hanoi Hilton.”

Bailey grew up in Attala County, but attended school in the Barnes community. After finishing high school, he went to Holmes Community College on a basketball scholarship. After Holmes, Bailey enlisted in the military.

After returning home from the war, Bailey returned to school and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Ole Miss and a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University before becoming a teacher and an assistant principal.

He currently lives in South Carolina.

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