Wallace Willard Bay

Army Badge
  • Name: Wallace Willard Bay
  • Location of Birth: Duluth, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: December 6, 1923
  • Date of Death: May 1, 1988
  • Parents: Willard Bay & Anna (Haggman) Bay
  • High School and Class: 1942 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: SGT (Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: December 3, 1942
  • Place Sworn In: Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: February 6, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Wallace Willard Bay
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: December 6, 1923
    Birth Place: Duluth, Minnesota
    Residence Place: Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: June 30, 1942
    Employer: Willard Bay Garage, Bovey, Minnesota
    Weight: 130
    Height: 5-5
    Complexion: Ruddy
    Eye Color: Green
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mrs. Willard Bay, Bovey, Minnesota

    Newspaper article - Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - January 1, 1943 - "Dear Members: Just a word of thanks. Today I received the book you sent me "My Life in the Service". I have been looking for such a book and have been unable to find one suitable. Now I am glad I didn't, for I know I couldn't have found one as nice and complete for the purpose. Lights are out in a minute and must discontinue writing. Thank you again. Pvt. Wallace Bay."

    Newspaper article - Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - May 7. 1943: “April 21, 1943 – Hi Elaine – Got the Service Club letter that you sent today. It was a little late, because it was addressed to the 468th Sv. Sqdn. instead of the 469th, so be sure they change that, for I want to be sure to get all the news of the town and Service Club. If it was Mr. Connor that wrote the typed letter, he is to be complimented, for it is very nice. You all can be sure every fellow in the service from Bovey is very proud of the town and people for the way they have gone all out in this war effort. From the way the Service Club has been working and the way the Red Cross quota was topped, we’re sure of our town being for us the whole way. According to the Bovey Press, the local organizations are really doing a big part to buy bonds and bring this thing to a close and get everyone home again. I’m glad to hear Spring is there and that the ore is really starting to move. I have been in Summer weather for quite some time now. We really have a nice camp here – trees and grass all around and so far not very much rain. The rest of our officers are coming back from school now, and our squadron is really getting on the beam. We have our own mess hall now and the food is swell. My work has been enjoyable, so I really can’t complain about army life, although one gets quite lonesome for the people and things we miss back home. Last Sunday I went to look the state capital building and grounds over. They sure are beautiful. One can see the whole city from the top and the old Mississippi gone on her way. The old river gets to be quite a flow by the time it gets here. I always have to put a plug in for our state by telling the people the Mississippi starts a little ways from my home – just a small creek. Have to get back to work now, so until next time, Sincerely, Wally Bay, Baton Rouge, La.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - September 17, 1943 - "Dear Friends: First of all I want to thank the people for the letters I have received from Mr. Barnes, Bernadine Chopp and Rose Sandberg; also for the Hospitality Card. I'm sorry I can't write you personal letters, but time for writing letters is rather limited. I would like to advise the Club on my correct address, so that I may get my mail without delay. Correct Address: 469 Sv. Sqdn. 50th Sv. Group, Campbell Army Air Base, Camp Campbell, Ky. At present I am stationed at Bowling Green, Ky. on detached service, but my mail is still coming through Camp Campbell. Bowling Green is a nice place of 15,000 population, and very friendly to the soldiers. It has a Service Center and a USO, where we can go and spend time writing or for what ever we wish. For other amusement there isn't much but a roller skating rink and shows. Mammoth Cave isn't very far from here, and I have had the good fortune to spend some time going through the caves. It is something to be remembered and surely a pleasure to see. I expect to make at least one more trip into the cave area and see more of the natural formations and caves. My work here has been very nice, and especially interesting, because it has taken me to various parts and various Army Camps within this state. I have been hauling gasoline from various camps to this field and refueling the airplanes here. Caring for our truck and refueling units also becomes part of our job and requires quite a little time. Yes, Rose, it would be grand if all the home town boys could return for the Farmer's Day program, but I guess it will not be possible this year, but by next year we shall all hope to be back and starting normal life again. I don't know what kind of weather you are having at home, but I'll gladly trade for this weather that cools down in the early evening to 100 F. in the shade. If you can find some shade near by. I see my time is giving out and I must return to my work, so thanks a million for the letters and the paper - both have been a big help for the home news and events - so keep them coming. Sincerely, Wallace Bay."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - March 17, 1944 - "Somewhere in England. Hello Friends: I received the birthday card Mrs. Dargan sent me for the Service Club and it was very nice. Mrs. Dargan seems to do a lot of work for the club. I read of fellows answering her letters quite often in the Bovey Press. It is very nice to have the people in Bovey taking such an interest in the people in service. I have been taking time out to catch up on my reading of the Press, for I have been getting them in bunches. It is swell to get all the news of home and the school in the paper Everything has been swell with me and I'm finally getting used to the weather here. It has been very windy and cold lately, but that is not half as bad as the cold and rain. Best wishes to everyone and keep up the good work. As ever, Wallace Bay."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - March 24, 1944 - "Somewhere in England. Dear Ann and All: I'm due for a letter to the folks back home, so I had better get on the beam. I have done an awful lot of traveling the last couple months, and I'm way behind in my writing. I have received the Reader's Digest card, the stationery and stamps and Horace Barnes' letter. I also received your Christmas card, Ann. I want to thank every one for all the kindness and consideration showed us. May we all be home for the next holidays. Your letter was really swell Horace, and also yours, Ann. It was just last week that I received the Bovey Press for the first time in quite awhile. It was good to get that paper. We get English papers here, but they aren't like the good old papers from the States, and especially those from our home towns. Yesterday was Christmas and we had a swell dinner; turkey with all the trimmings. Thanksgiving dinner was about the same, the only thing that was lacking was the ice cream. The 23rd and 24th of December I was on a pass and got to see some of the country and cities around here. There isn't much to do here, outside of movies. You can't buy anything to amount to much because everything is rationed, and things that aren't are scarce and high priced. I was surprised when I bought a Air Corp patch which cost eight or ten cents in the States, and it cost me an amount equal to forty-two cents. I sure would like to have been home for the hunting seasons this year. I'm glad to hear the Sportsman's Club is doing their part, and I'll be happy when we can all get together again and shoot trap or go to some other club and shoot. We used to have some good times shooting for steak suppers. Sorry, Horace, I couldn't get in my greeting for the paper, but I just was not in a position to do any writing. I want to thank all the people in the Service Club and especially Ann for the swell work they have been doing, and wish everyone the best for the new Year. As ever, Wallace Bay."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - November 10, 1944 – An Eighth Air Force Fighter Station, England – Supporting P-51 Mustang fighter pilots, who recorded 401 German Airplanes destroyed in 200 combat missions during eight months, is Cpl. Wallace W. Bay, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willard Bay, Bovey, Minn. Corporal Bay is a heavy duty operator with the hard-hitting Eighth Air Force in England. The "Keep 'Em Flying" personnel of this station, commanded by Lt. Col. John D. Landers, has been praised for its teamwork with the fliers who blasted 20 Germans out of the sky over Berlin in one day without loss; escorted bombers to Russia and Italy on a shuttle trip of 5,000 miles without a single loss of aircraft; provided a perfect job of bomber escort to Leipzig, Germany, when not a Flying Fortress was lost and 21 Nazis interceptors kayoed; and who have kayoed more than 20 German planes in one afternoon on six different occasions. The fliers of the station where Corporal Bay is based destroyed 45 German planes in two days in support of the Holland airborne invasion.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Wallace Bay married Siiri Niemi in 1947. He owned and operated Bay's Garage in Bovey, Minnesota and worked for Minnesota Power & Light for 30 years. He and his wife lived in Bovey from 1947 - 1959 before moving to Chisholm, Minnesota. He was a past president of the Bovey-Coleraine Lions Club; Past Master of Canisteo Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Coleraine, Minnesota; a member of the Scottish Rite; a Past Watchman of the Shepherds, White Shrine of Jerusalem; and a past commander of the American Legion Post No. 247 of Chisholm.

    Wallace died in Hibbing, Minnesota and is buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (plot - S, O, 2532). He is survived by his wife, Siiri; two sons, Alan (Irene) Bay and Robert (Sue) Bay; two daughters, Mrs. Steven (Kathleen) Nelson and Mrs. Robert (Nancy) Utech; one brother, F. L. “Bob” (Jeanne) Bay; six grandchildren; three aunts and numerous nieces and nephews.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):