Captain William A. Bailey

Captain William Alexander Bailey, Jr.

On January 10, 1951, Captain William Alexander Bailey, Jr., along with five crew members and two passengers, took to the skies above Edwards Air Force Base in a test flight of the B-50 Superfortress. After several hours of testing, the crew started its return. While cruising at an altitude of 4,000 feet, the plane entered a storm and crashed in the Shadow mountains near El Mirage, located about 25 miles southeast of Edwards AFB. Captain Bailey, the five crew members, and two passengers lost their lives in the crash. 

Today, William A. Bailey Elementary School sits on the corner of Bailey Avenue (named in memory of Captain William A. Bailey) and Payne Avenue (named in memory of Major Gordon L. Payne, the copilot) and educates children whose parents continue the legacy of Captain Bailey, his crew, and his passengers. 

— Jason Spitzer, Principal

William A. Bailey Elementary 


James A. "JT" Tucker, AFTC/HO Historian, Assigned to cover the 412th Test Wing and George B. Welsh, Director Air Force Flight Test Museum, 412TW/MU