Sybil Bailey Stockdale, born on November 25, 1924 and died October 10, 2015, Bailey was the wife of an American Vietnam War Navy pilot who became a prisoner of war.
Bailey then became a co-founder, and National Coordinator of the National League of Families, a nonprofit organization that worked on behalf of American Vietnam-era Missing in Action and Prisoner of War Families.
In her capacity as national coordinator for the League, Bailey also served as its liaison to the White House and the Department of Defense.
Bailey is credited with helping to better publicize the mistreatment of US prisoners by North Vietnam and for helping to improve American policies concerning the treatment and handling of POW families.
Bailey is the recipient of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award given by the Department of the Navy to a citizen not employed by the Department.
She is the only wife of an active-duty officer ever to have been so honored.
Bailey was also the co-author, along with her late husband, of the book “In Love and War: the Story of a Family’s Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam War”.
Her husband, James Bond Stockdale, was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for bravery in war, and after his release at the end of the war, was eventually promoted to Vice Admiral and by the time of his death in 2005 was one of the United States’ most honored and decorated military veterans in the post-WWII era.
He was present at the August 4, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident, spent 7-1/2 years under torture as a POW in North Vietnam, later became President of The Citadel, and eventually ran for Vice-President of the United States with Ross Perot heading the ticket.
Sybil Stockdale was born in New Haven, Connecticut. She held an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College, and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University.
Jim and Sybil Stockdale have four sons, Jim, Sid, Stanford and Taylor.
Bailey died at a hospital in Coronado, California on October 10, 2015 from Alzheimer’s disease, at the age of 90.