George C. Bayha was born in New York in 1920. In Rye his family lived at 70 Nappman Avenue and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. George was a Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1939. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
George C. Bayha
George C. Bayha was born in New York in 1920. In Rye his family lived at 70 Wappanocca Avenue, along with his mother, Christine Bayha, and his little sister, Mary Bayha. The home that his mother owned cost $6,000. ($114,400 Dollars In Current day) The mother was born in the Irish Free State, while George and Mary were born in New York. His father George Louis Bayha died in 1934 at the age of 50. Georges's father had been a long time resident of Rye, first living with family on School Street and then building a house at 70 Wappanocca Ave in 1922 and was a City of Rye Police Officer.
Growing up in Rye, young George and his mother and sister were members of the Church of Resurrection. He was a graduate of Resurrection Grammer School and the Rye High School class of 1939 in , being a part of the Drivers’ Club and a member of the football and baseball teams. His senior quote was: “My eyes make pictures when they are shut.”
George served in WW2 in the US Army Air Corps as a crew member on a B-29 Superfortress. He was a master sergeant serving as a flight engineer and a member of the 6th Bomb Group. The campaign of incendiary raids started with the bombardment of Kobe on 4 February 1945, then peaked early with the most destructive bombing raid in history on the night of 9–10 March 1945 on Tokyo. From then on, the raids intensified, being launched regularly until the end of the war. The attacks succeeded in devastating most large Japanese cities and they gravely damaged Japan's war industries. Although less publicly appreciated, the mining of Japanese ports and shipping routes (Operation Starvation) carried out by B-29s from April 1945 reduced Japan's ability to support its population and move its troops.
Flying over 30 missions George was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross.
The citation for it is: "For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 5 June 1945. In a daylight incendiary attack against important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe, Japan, these combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft flew a precise and successful mission from a base in the Marianas Islands, 1500 miles to the south. Flying their plane exactly as briefed, despite the hazards of the long trip over water, through heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, and fighting off fourteen attacks on their formation by enemy fighter planes, each of these men performed his appointed duties with exceptional skill, coolness and courage and teamwork. An unusually high degree of bombing accuracy was attained, aiding in the destruction of more than four square miles of the city. By their devotion to duty and their determination to press home their attack on the target in the face of heavy odds, members of this crew who have completed more than twenty-one combat missions, distinguished themselves and reflected great credit on the Army Air Forces."
George was honorably discharged on 8 Oct 1945. In 1953 at the Church of the Resurrection he married the former Kathryn Marie Otto. George was an electrician and worked for Brooksville Electric Co in Port Chester for over 20 years. He was a third degree knight in the John M Grady Council Knights of Columbus Port Chester, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker, a member of the Rye Golf Club and a member of the Church of the Resurrection.
George Christopher Bayha 52 died on 6/1/1973 at the age of 53 at United Hospital. At the time of his death, in addition to his wife, he was survived by two daughters Martha then a senior at Rye High School, Maureen a freshman at the same school: a son George C Jr a fifth-grade student at Midland School, a brother Matthew of Rye a sister Mrs James P Kelly of Greenwich and a niece and a nephew.
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