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First Name: James

Last Name: Bayliss

Birthplace: Cedar Bayou, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Hockley County, TX
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 17 June 1917

Date of Death: 18 December 1944

Rank: Technical Sergeant

Years Served:
James Lee Bayliss

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James Lee Bayliss
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army

James Lee Bayliss was born on 17 June 1917 in Cedar Bayou, TX, the son of William Gladstone and Mildred Lee Wright Bayliss.

On 18 December 1944, Technical Sergeant James Lee Bayliss was serving with Company D (Heavy Weapons), 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, First U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations.

On that day, TSGT Bayliss' unit was defending the crossroads at Lausdell, Belgium, during the 3rd day of the Battle of the Bulge. When a withdrawal was ordered, many of the retreating Americans escaped under covering fire provided by a lone Company D machine gunner, TSGT James Bayliss. The career soldier from Cedar Bayou, TX, carried a heavy machine gun to an advantageous position and put his weapon into action sweeping the enemy infantry with rapid fire. As he hammered out .30-caliber slugs, German armor again converged on Lausdell. The crew of a Panther spotted TSGT Bayliss and unleashed a shell. The projectile flew wide. Bayliss ignored it and stayed behind his weapon. The Panther cut loose again but missed and TSGT Bayliss never flinched. And then it all ended in a blinding flash as a tank shell found its mark and killed him instantly. TSGT Bayliss' courageous actions and extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation (Synopsis)

Technical Sergeant James L. Bayliss (ASN: 6262770), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 18 December 1944. Technical Sergeant Bayliss' intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 2d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 58 (1945)


Technical Sergeant James Lee Bayliss is buried at Cedar Bayou Masonic Cemetery in Baytown, Harris County, TX.

Honoree ID: 311706   Created by: MHOH




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