Frances Barringer Bailey (b. 1920) grew up in Concord, North Carolina, and graduated from Concord High School in 1936. She attended Pfeiffer Junior College in Misenheimer, North Carolina, for two years, and then transferred to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in math in 1940, she taught in Troy, North Carolina, for two years. After six weeks of training at N.C. State University, Bailey went to Baltimore, Maryland, to work in the civil service inspecting gas mask gauges.
In April 1943, Bailey joined the WAVES and boarded a train for Massachusetts. She attended basic training at Smith College for six weeks and then supply school at Radcliffe College. Bailey was first assigned to Montauk Point, New York, but went instead to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois, where she worked in receiving and payroll. In the summer of 1945 she was sent to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she worked in the dispersing and payroll offices. Bailey was discharged from the WAVES as a lieutenant on 4 October 1946.
After a vacation to the West Coast, Bailey returned to Chicago and worked for A.B. Dick, a mimeograph company. She later moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she met and married William E. Bailey in 1950. The couple moved to Greensboro, where Frances Baily taught at Greensboro High School. She continued her career in education in Lancaster, South Carolina, as a teacher and administrator, and as a math program supervisor. She later moved to Florence, South Carolina.