- [S142] Newspaper Article, The Mountain Press, 28 Aug 2000.
David Paine Waters obituary
- [S106] The Mountain Press, 14 Nov 2006.
Hailey served country beneath the sea on USS Perch in WWII
By: CANDICE GRIMM, Staff Writer
November 14, 2006
For up to 60 days at a time, the submarine on which Pete Hailey of Sevierville served during World War II patrolled the South Pacific looking for Japanese ships to sink.
Based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the boat completed seven patrols between April 1944 and 1945, when the tour ended. The vessel had traveled more than 100,000 miles in enemy controlled waters.
Today, at age 85, Hailey is still very proud of his service aboard the submarine USS Perch, but his memory fails him when it comes to the details of that service.
He does, however, recall that after having served as commissary officer, then gunnery officer, he advanced to dive officer of the boat, which put him in charge when the boat was underwater.
"That was an important position," said Hailey.
While being confined on an underwater boat is not for everyone, Hailey said, "I enjoyed being at sea in a submarine, but there were times when it was scary."
Hailey's wife Mary Louise Waters Hailey can relate most of the details of his service in the Navy, even though at the time of the war, the whereabouts of the boat and the exploits of her crew were known only to the U.S. Navy and the men aboard her. It was only after the war that Mary Louise, whom Hailey married in 1945, learned the full details of her then-fiance's submarine service.
"Communication was terrible," said Mary Louise. "It wasn't like it is today in a submarine; then the boat had to surface to use the radios. And, everyone was told not to talk about where their men were. The saying we lived by was, 'Loose lips sink ships.' Even when the war ended, everyone else was celebrating their men coming home, and for two weeks I didn't know whether Pete was alive."
Hailey graduated from the Naval Academy in 1943, three years after entering it, then volunteered for the submarine service. Graduations, according to Mary Louise, were "expedited because of the war."
"When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Japanese destroyed the battleships and airplanes, so the only thing the Navy had was the submarines. The force was small, but they were the best we had in defense," said Mary Louise.
During the year in which the USS Perch prowled the waters of the South Pacific, the crew sank two ships and damaged one, and rescued two pilots downed off the coast of Japan.
The boat was also subjected to two frightening hours of severe depth charging that resulted in considerable damage. After repairs, the boat went on to conduct the remainder of a 51-day patrol off the coast of China.
On another patrol, the Perch and two other submarines in their Wolf Pack were caught in a typhoon which made depth control nearly impossible. Surfacing during the height of the typhoon, a huge wave swept tons of water into the open conning tower hatch, resulting in the temporary loss of radar, air compressors and air conditioning units. The boat was disabled for five days while repairs were made.
After World War II, Hailey obtained a law degree, and after rejoining the Navy sub service acted as legal counsel. After a year, he left the Navy and opened the law office of Hailey, Waters, Sykes and Sharp in Sevierville.
- [S23] Atchley Funeral Home, (http://www.atchleyfuneralhome.com/), 1 May 2009.
R.B. ''Pete'' Hailey
May 25, 1921 - May 01, 2009
Birthplace: Ontario, Virginia
Resided In: Sevierville Tennessee USA
Visitation: May 04, 2009
Service: May 04, 2009
Cemetery: Shiloh Cemetery, Pigeon Forge
R.B. “Pete” Hailey, Commander, USN, (Ret.), age 87 of Sevierville, passed away Friday, May 01, 2009.
He was born May 25, 1921, in Ontario, VA. Following two years at Virginia Tech, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1943, (Class of 1944). Following graduation from Submarine School, he reported to SUBPAC and completed seven war patrols aboard the USS Perch (SS313), ending his wartime career in Tokyo Bay.
After return to the States, and marrying Mary Louise Waters, he served on USS Pomfret and USS Greenfish. He resigned from the Navy in 1947 and graduated from Washington and Lee University Law School in 1950.
Recalled to active duty in Korean War, he served two Years on the staff of COMSUBLANT. He retired as Commander, USNR.
Civic life included 55 years as a lawyer; real estate ventures; developer of Forbidden Caverns; founding chairman of the Robert F. Thomas Medical Foundation; served on Tennessee State Board of Education; served as University of Tennessee Trustee; served as Morristown College Trustee; served as Holston Home for Children Trustee; and founding chairman of the Sevier County Veterans Monument Association. He taught the Youth Class at the Gatlinburg Methodist Church for 18 years and later the Men’s Bible Class at the First United Methodist Church in Sevierville.
After two wars and 55 years of law practice, he believed that Alex Hailey was right when he said, “Find the good and praise it.”
Wife of 64 years: Mary Louise Waters Hailey
Son and daughter-in-law: John Benjamin Hailey and wife Helene
Daughter and son-in law: Rachel Hailey Haywood and husband Charles
Step grandchildren: Kiera Tippitt and Alex Tippitt
Brother-in-law: John B. Waters, Jr.
Several nieces and nephews
Very Special Friend: Louise McCarter
Devoted Nurse: Tim Zeller
Caregivers: Virginia Soria, and Helen Greenlee
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: First United Methodist, Church 214 Cedar Street, Sevierville, TN 37862 or Holston Home for Children, P. O. Box 188, Greeneville, TN 37744
Funeral service 7 PM Monday at First United Methodist Church in Sevierville. Family and friends will leave Atchley Funeral Home at 10 AM Tuesday in procession to Shiloh Cemetery for interment. Honorary pallbearers will be Sevier County Bar Association and members of Smoky Mountain Thunder. The family will receive friends 5-7 PM Monday at First United Methodist Church, Sevierville. Arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. (www.atchleyfuneralhome.com)
- [S106] The Mountain Press, 3 May 2009.
Lawyer Hailey dies at 87
SEVIERVILLE - He was a Sevierville lawyer for some 50 years. He was a World War II and Korea veteran. He was a developer of hotels and other businesses. He was a member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.
R.B. "Pete" Hailey wasn't from Sevier County ? he was born and raised in Virginia ? but he sure took this place as his home. Hailey, who died Friday at the age of 87, left his mark on his adopted home.
"He was first and foremost an outstanding lawyer, an icon in our legal profession," Gary Wade of Sevierville, now a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court, said. "Later on he was an energetic entrepreneur. Pete always swung with a big stick. He did things in an impressive way."
Hailey's brother-in-law, John Waters Jr., practiced law with him right out of law school.
"He was a heck of a nice guy and a smart guy," Waters said. "He really enjoyed life."
Hailey got his bachelor's degree from the Naval Academy in 1943, then served aboard submarines during World War II. He got his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1950 and had begun his practice in Sevierville when the Navy called him to Korea.
Upon his return he resumed the practice of law, which evolved into the firm of Hailey Waters Sykes & Sharp ? the city's largest.
"He and my dad were contemporaries," Circuit Judge Rex Henry Ogle said of Haley and W. Henry Ogle. "He was always very good to me and my family. He was so proud of his service in the Navy. He talked about that quite a bit."
Hailey is given credit for the military statue built in front of the courthouse.
During is professional career he branched out into commercial development, He was responsible for the Sheraton Hotel in Gatlinburg, now the Park Vista, a controversial project at the time because of its height and location above the city. It soon became the city's top convention hotel.
Hailey also was behind the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and Glenstone Lodge in Gatlinburg, Palisades Condominiums in Knoxville, Bent Creek Golf Course near Gatlinburg and Forbidden Caverns.
During his career, he served as trustee on the UT and Morristown College boards and was the force behind Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation which supports Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center. It was Hailey who convinced Dolly Parton to support the foundation, Wade said.
Waters said he didn't plan to go into the practice of law, but Hailey convinced him to come back and be his partner.
"It turned out to be a very profitable and enjoyable thing," Waters said. "He worked hard at the law, but never got carried away with it."
Hailey continued to practice law into his 80s until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about six years ago.