|Birth: ||Sep. 16, 1944|
Twin Falls County
|Death: ||Nov. 3, 2001|
Charles "Mike" Michael Baily was born in Twin Falls, ID, to Charles and Helen (Minnich) Baily. Mike was raised on the family farm on the rim of the Snake River Canyon, near Hansen, ID, with sister Beth, and brothers Everett, Eldon, and Carl.
Mike graduated as class valedictorian of Hansen High School, was appointed to West Point by Senator Frank Church, and entered with 806 other new cadets on 2 Jul 1962, with the USMA Class of 1966. Mike easily adjusted to cadet life, and his sunny disposition brightened the ranks of the "runt squad," to which his compact person was usually assigned. Throughout Mike's cadet career in companies M-2 and C-4, he displayed the unassuming competence that was to be characteristic of his later military service and academic achievements. For all four years, Mike was a valued member of the Army wrestling squad, lettering in competition under Coach Alitz. Since academics presented no problem for Mike, he found time to be active in the Mountaineering and Military Affairs clubs as well.
Ranking in the top 100 of his graduating class, Mike got his first choice of branch and chose Armor. After Airborne and Ranger schools, Mike was assigned as a platoon leader with the 3rd Battalion, 77 th Armor, at Ft. Carson. In 1967, Mike went to Viet Nam as a platoon leader with the 17th Cavalry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, earning the Bronze Star for Valor with an oak leaf cluster. After his combat tour ended, Mike attended the Army Aviation School at Ft. Rucker and emerged with pilot wings.
Then it was off to Germany for service with the 3rd Armored Division. There, Mike met his future wife, Tamora Anderson, sister of classmate Dave Anderson, who was visiting from Mississippi. Tam and Mike were mutually enchanted, and after Tam returned to the States, Mike pursued the ensuing long-distance courtship with his customary vigor. On 21 Jul 1970, Mike and Tam married, and would remain happily so for the next 31 years. Shortly after the wedding, Mike went back to Viet Nam for a second year with the 17th Cavalry, this time as a troop commander. During this tour, Mike earned a third Bronze Star and an Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters.
Mike next attended the Armor Advanced Course at Ft. Knox, after which he was assigned to the Armor Agency of the Combat Development Command as a project officer. In these assignments, Mike developed an interest in history, particularly the history of tank and anti-tank warfare. In 1973, Mike returned to school for two years at Duke University, earning a master's degree in history. After attending Command and General Staff College, Mike served as an instructor in the Department of History. During his three years of teaching, Mike continued to write and study. He was published in Armor magazine and received a Ph.D. from Duke. Mike next served as the executive officer of the 1/7th Cavalry at Ft. Hood, and then he, Tam, and their two children went to Europe for three happy years in Brussels, Belgium, where Mike served in the U.S. mission to NATO. Mike wrote a book about tank warfare, Faint Praise: American Tanks and Tank Destroyers During World War II, which was published in 1983.
After his European tour, Mike served in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in Washington, DC, and then spent his final tour of duty as a member of the faculty at the Army War College. Mike retired in 1989 and immediately began a post-retirement career with Science Applications International Corporation, a military research organization in Washington, DC. In 1996, Mike joined the Coleman Research Corporation.
Mike met the news of his cancer with his usual courage and optimism. With the support of his doctors, family, and friends, he fought the disease and remained active, working until two days before his death. Mike was buried with full military honors at Arlington.
Mike's widow, Tam, continues to live in their home in Springfield, VA. Both of their children graduated from Clemson University. His son, Michael, was an Air Force officer before going into business. Daughter Ellen is the wife of Pete Bertanzetti, Class of '95. Mike's first grandchild, Ellen and Pete's daughter, Emily, was born just over a year after Mike's death.
We might remember Mike Baily as an athlete, soldier, and scholar of excellence, but Mike was never as proud of his many achievements as he was of his family. Therefore, it is more important to remember him as a loving husband, father, and friend, a man who valued life but did not fear death.
Let us all hope to do as well.
Family and Classmate
(bio by: Peyton Ligon)
Note: Interment date 11-30-2001. LTC US Army. Veteran Service Dates from 06-08-1966 to 01-31-1989. Information extracted from the National Cemetery Administration's National Gravesite Locator.
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 65 Site 3208
Created by: Shiver
Record added: May 18, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8790374