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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project


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Brig. Gen. Mildred Inez Caroon Bailey served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and Woman's Army Corps (WAC) from 1942 to 1975, the last four years as director of the WAC.


1999 oral history transcript, clippings, and a transcript of "Conversations Between Brigadier General Mildred C. Bailey and Lieutenant Colonel Rhoda M. Messer" (24 Sept 1978).


Mildred Inez C. Bailey was born in 1919 in Fort Barnwell, North Carolina, and raised in nearby Kinston. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Flora McDonald College in Red Springs, North Carolina. She transferred to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in her sophomore year and graduated in 1940. After graduation, she attended summer school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bailey went on to teach French in Taylorsville, North Carolina.

Bailey joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the summer of 1942, and was sent to Officer Training School at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, where she was a member of third class of WAACs. Bailey was assigned to the Army Air Corps and stationed in Daytona Beach, Florida, until mid-1943, when the company she commanded was transferred to George Field Army Air Base in Illinois. Bailey was then sent sent to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, for a short time before moving to Craig Field, Alabama, where she taught English to members of the French Air Force until the end of the war in 1945.

Bailey remained in the army after World War II and was sent to Miami, Florida, where she served as vocational guidance and counselor officer for veterans. In 1949, she was transferred to Stuttgart, Germany, with an intelligence assignment. She was then sent to Munich to command a WAC attachment at the 98th General Hospital.

In 1953, Bailey returned stateside to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the intelligence branch of the Military District of Washington headquarters. In 1957, she graduated from Strategic Intelligence School, and then reported to Fort MacPherson, Georgia, where she served as the head of recruiting for the Southeastern United States for three years. In 1961, she was put in charge of the WAC detachment at Fort Myer, Virginia, the largest detachment in the U.S. While there she worked on building a woman’s exhibit for a traveling set of exhibits that would inform the country about the army. Bailey worked from 1963 to 1968 traveling with the tour and expanding the women’s history presentation. Upon returning to Washington, she worked as a liaison officer for the Senate. In 1970, she made deputy commander at the training center in Fort McClelland, Alabama. On 2 August 1971 Bailey became the director of the Women’s Army Corps and was promoted to brigadier general. She retired from the army in July 1975.

Mildred Bailey married Roy Bailey in the early 1940s while stationed at Daytona Beach. He passed away in the early 1960s.

Mildred Bailey died 18 July 2009 in Washington D.C.

Oral history interview with M. Inez Caroon Bailey, 1999
Item # WV0084.5.001
From the Mildred Caroon Bailey Papers