by Micah Ricks
James Bailey was born on 25 December 1894 in Blue Field, WV. When registering for the draft, he lived in Norfolk VA at 1216 Smith St. with his mother Annie Darden who also was known as Mrs. Fannie. He also worked for Mr. Young at the naval operating base in Norfolk VA as a naval yard machinist on 7th Nov 1917. He married Anice “Annie” Fields at Oceans, Virginia in 1917. His wife was born in 1894, in Princess Anne, VA. They did not have any children.
During the war he was assigned to the USS Wilhelmina, a steel hulled passenger and cargo steamer built in Newport News Virginia at the Newport News ship building co. On this ship he was a mess attendant. Some of the services that Bailey provided as a mess attendant are; serving food to officers and crew aboard the ship, preparing hot and cold drinks, serving fruits, setting tables for meals, and providing janitorial services like cleaning bedrooms and bathrooms assigned to the ship’s officers.
After serving on USS Wilhelmina, he was transferred to serve in USS De Kalb on 20th August, 1918.
After the war, Annie and James lives on Dunbar Street in Norfolk. By 1944, the couple divorced due to desertion. Annie had moved to Brooklyn, New York while James remained in Norfolk. James Bailey died in December 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia.