The Society was saddened to learn of the “Last Flight” of Col Austin James “Jim” Bailey, Jr., USMCR (Ret) (F).
Jim Bailey was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on 25 February 1922. He passed away in Crystal Lake, IL, on 24 June 2021 at age 99. In the 5th and 6th grades he had a strong interest in aviation and built small balsa wood scale models of WWI and such aircraft as the NC-4, P-12 and F4B-4. In the 7th grade he advanced to balsa wood and tissue paper flying models. During 1938-1940 he worked after school and summers for E.W. Wiggins Airways, Norwood Airport, Norwood Massachusetts. He worked on the flight line, in the stockroom and as a mechanics helper. Wiggins was under contract for the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) for Harvard, MIT and Northeastern University. Wiggins had about 15 J-3 Cubs, 4 WACO UPF-7’s and a Stinson Reliant to support the program. In 1941 upon graduation from Norwood High School he entered Northeastern University, College of Engineering, in Boston. He immediately enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training Program thereby launching a career as a military pilot followed by a career as an Engineering Test Pilot.