Monday, November 24, 2008


Martha Emily Metz Gile took her last flight on November 18, 2008.

Born to Fred Christian Metz and Martha Julia Fritz Metz on March 4, 1925. She was an aviator and native of Miami, FL.

Emily served with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II, class of 44-W-8.

Emily Gile' s childhood and adolescence in Miami, Florida and her family' s business in cows, chickens and turkeys during the Great Depression when her father was unable to find work in accounting.

Determined to become a WASP, Gile was initially turned away because of her age, but earned her private license while working at the Army Air Corp base . On the day she turned eighteen and a half, she hopped a military flight bound to Washington DC and was escorted to be interviewed at the Pentagon with Jacqueline Cochran who admitted her into the program.

Gile completed her training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX graduating Oct. 18th, 1944. She was then was stationed at Greenwood, Mississippi and ferried planes to different bases and tested repaired planes before they entered back into service. The WASP were deactivated in December of 1944.

Emily Metz Gile then married and served in the Air Force Reserves until she became pregnant with her son. She then attended
Concordia River Forest College to become a teacher for elementary children in parochial schools. Then Gile received her Masters in reading education at Appalachian State University. Gile then moved Hillsville, VA to be a reading specialist for Carroll County Schools.

After her retirement from teaching she volunteered in so many ways. She was involved with many organizations including the American Association for Retired Persons serving as chairman for the retired teachers for years. Emily Gile was also a member of the
General Federation of Women' s Clubs, Carroll County Retired Teachers, American Legion and the American Cancer Society serving as relay Captain for many years.

She also believed that the children of Carroll Co. needed the opportunity to experience flight so she began the Y
oung Eagles' Program Local EAA chapter.

Emily Gile leaves her two children: one son, Emory Bearden of Hillsville, VA; one daughter and son-in-law, Larry and Martha Musser and her three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Caroline, and Sarah Musser of Winston-Salem, NC.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel at 2 p.m. with Dr. Marva Dawn officiating. Military Rites will be conducted by the Hillsville V.F.W. Post 1115. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday, November 21, 2008 from 6 until 8 p.m. Burial will be in Quantico National Cemetery on Friday, November 28, 2008 at 2 p.m. Donations maybe made to W.A.S.P. Women Endowment Fund T.W.U. P.O. Box 425528 Denton, TX 76204, or the local EAA Chapter Young Eagles Program, c/o Shirley Steele, 681 Mt. Zion Road, Woodlawn, VA 24381. 

A guestbook is available online by visiting http://www.vaughanguynnandmcgrady. com. Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel is serving the family.

Published in the Winston-Salem Journal from 11/21/2008 - 11/22/2008


  1. I definitely remember Emily from Sweetwater, watched them help her off the DC-3 after we coasted into the traffic pattern alongside her.

    What a brave lady, not at all willing to let the effects of her therapy or that wheelchair stand in her way.

    On a personal note, she passed away on my birthday.

    A life well-lived, a model for the rest of us!

    N.D. "Andy" Shane, Pilot

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Emily Metz Gile. My husband Chuck and I were pilots and organizers for Operation Fifinella in September. We are so proud to have been involved in the planning of this special event. Emily, we salute you and Thank you for your service to our country. You were a true Hero and you will be missed. We have have lost another National Treasure.
    Lana and Chuck Kraeszig

  3. We pray for God's blessings on Emily's family. My husband, Tom, and I were privileged to fly in Operation Fifinella in September. It was our pleasure that day to be seated at a table with Emily's family for lunch. The family was filled with love and pride for their Mother/Grandmother's accomplishment and service to her country. We saw Emily's legacy in one granddaughter who desires to be an airforce pilot someday and in all of the family's strength and pride as they traveled with her to Sweetwater. God bless all of you and God bless Emily. We will all miss this proud patriot.