Friday, October 8, 2010

WASP Eloise Huffhines Bailey, 44-4

Eloise Huffhines Bailey, WASP, Class 44-4,  took her last flight on October 6, 2010.  She is now flying higher than she has ever flown. 

Eloise was a native Texan, born in 1921 near Richardson, Texas, just outside of Dallas, to a family of pilots.  Eloise had no choice -- she was a country girl from Texas who was born to fly.

When she had enough hours, she applied for and was accepted into the WASP training program at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas  on November 1, 1943. There she learned to fly the Army Air Forces military aircraft, always wearing her favorite boots.

After successfully finishing  seven months of training at Avenger Field, she graduated, received her silver wings and her official orders from the Army Air Forces  to report to Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Alabama, which was a B-24 repair depot.  Eloise and her classmate, Millie Davidson (Dalrymple),  drove to Maxwell, arriving on "D Day", June 6, 1944.  They were billeted in the Nurses' Quarters across from the Officer's Club.

While at Maxwell, which her friend, Millie,  called "a paradise compared to Avenger", Eloise was able to check out on a number of aircraft, including the B-24, which she flew as an engineering co-pilot.    Her primary flying assignment was on slow-timing missions  to ‘break in’  rebuilt or new engines on the B-24s.   She was also able to qualify as first pilot on the UC-78, AT-11 and C-45.

When the WASP were disbanded, she packed her bags and paid her way back to her favorite place in all the world —TEXAS.   She probably didn't pack her boots.  She was probably wearing them!

On Veteran's Day last year, I met Eloise and Ted Bailey at a special event where Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison presented the WASP of Texas with a signed copy of the bill awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.  Eloise looked terrific, as she stepped forward to receive her copy.  It was an honor to see these pioneers be singled out by the Senator, as each name was read.  Much of the text written above was put together by my mom, who was in Eloise's class, as a way of personalizing and introducing each WASP.

I'm sorry I don't have even more information.  I remember Millie Dalrymple saying that "Huffy" could fly absolutely anything with wings, as long as she had on her favorite boots.

God bless her family -- they are all in our prayers.

Respectfully posted by Nancy Parrish
Additional information from Eloise's family posted below.

Eloise is survived by her husband who has been her partner for 59 years, Ted Kenneth Bailey of Carrollton, Texas; and sons Michael Bailey of Denison, Texas; Ted Kenneth Bailey Jr. of Carrollton, Texas; and Robert Elmo Bailey of Frisco, Texas .  She left behind 8 grandchildren, Scott, Jon, Jason, Ben, Shawn, Amy, Melissa and Allison and 10 great grandchildren, Ryan, Breanna, Alyssa, Kylie, Lexi, Madison, Caden, Alex, Savannah, and Ziva.

She was preceded in death by her father, Elmo Huffhines, her mother, Clyde Huffhines, four brothers and four sisters.


Visitation is on Thursday 9/07 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Graveside service only on Friday 9/08, 1:pm

Location: Restland Funeral Home at 13005 Greeneville Ave, Dallas 75243

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