Darrell D. Bayes

No photo available.
No photo available.
Darrell DeLoy Bayes
Bryan, OH
Parents, Hollis & Iva Bayes
1944 – 1946
Iwo Jima B/1/24 521 Private  
Private First Class

Darrell Bayes was the son of Hollis and Iva Bayes; he was born in Farmer Township, Defiance, Ohio on the day after Christmas in 1926. The young family was supported by Hollis’ job as a mechanic, and as a boy Darrell evidently showed some signs of mechanical aptitude, but the outbreak of World War II changed his career plans. He enlisted in mid-1944, at the age of seventeen, and was sent to the 8th Recruit Battalion at Parris Island for boot camp.

Following additional infantry training at Camp Lejeune, Private Bayes was assigned to the 30th Replacement Draft. This unusual unit consisted primarily of new recruits, but also included seasoned Marines from guard detachments, rear-echelon personnel, and even former prisoners granted clemency in exchange for the assignment. It was never intended to go into combat as a whole, but rather to provide Marines piecemeal to other units that had suffered losses. There was little sense of permanence, and as a result, little comradeship developed among the men of the Replacement Drafts. Still, they dutifully boarded transports in January 1945 and joined the fleet headed to Iwo Jima.

Bayes landed on Iwo a few days after the battle began. Many replacements were introduced to Iwo with a day or two on shore, working as stevedores for the overburdened shore parties and absorbing the sights and sounds of battle. On February 27, though, an officer corralled thirteen privates from the 30th Replacement Draft – Bayes among them – placed them in the charge of Gunnery Sergeant Otto Brettrager, assisted by Corporals Jesse Betts and Alfred Halliwell, and ordered them off to the front lines. This little group was assigned to Company B, 24th Marines. In the next four days, the replacements were shuffled around to fill holes in decimated squads, and tried to pick up as much knowledge as they could from the veterans by whom they were surrounded.

For many, the lesson wasn’t enough. By battle’s end, four of the 16 replacements were dead, and eight more had been wounded and evacuated. Only Gunny Brettrager and Privates Archie Adam Jr., Charles Aldinger Jr., and Darrell DeLoy Bayes survived to march off the island with their new company. Bayes had impressed his superiors in the battle, and on April 23, 1945, was promoted to Private First Class and designated as a rifleman.

The summer of 1945 was spent training at Camp Maui for the invasion of Japan. Luckily, the war ended before Baker Company could make another combat landing, and in October of 1945 the Fourth Marine Division disbanded. Bayes was sent to the 17th Service Battalion, where he stood guard duty until April 30, 1946 – he was sent Stateside for discharge.

With the war behind him, Darrell Bayes returned to Ohio and his hometown of Bryan. He took a job with International Harvester as a mechanic (working alongside his father, Hollis), married Marilyn Brannon in 1948, and had a son. Bayes remarried to Eleanor Knox in 1958 and shortly thereafter struck out on his own, opening Darrell’s Auto Repair in 1962. His Marine-taught familiarity with firearms led him to add a gun shop ten years later; he and Eleanor ran the combination store until retiring in 1998. In addition to running his business, Bayes taught at a local vocational school for ten years, and was active in the NRA, conservation efforts, and served as a deputy sheriff.

Darrell Bayes died in Bryan on March 26, 2006. He is buried in Farmer Cemetery, Defiance County, Ohio.

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