Ruth Ellen (Dailey) Helm passed away February 28, 2015 at the age of 98. Born on December 29, 1916, she grew up in the small town of Grapeland, TX. After graduating with a degree in business from Baylor University in 1937, Ruth returned to Grapeland to manage the family's auto dealership. During that time she also pursued her dream of learning how to fly. In early 1939 she earned her pilot’s license. Determined to push forward in her chosen field, Helm next took out a bank loan to buy a private plane, and joined the international organization of women pilots known as the Ninety-Nines.
After that Ruth went on to serve in the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during WWII ferrying Pursuit, Transport, and Bomber aircraft.
Despite working in a male-dominated field, Helm found the atmosphere between the two sexes friendly and congenial. As her son remembered, Ruth maintained “that the male pilots treated the gals with just phenomenal respect.
In 1946 she moved to Tucson where she and several fellow WASP opened a fly-in guest ranch. There she met her future husband, Walter J. "Slats" Helm, a cowboy who worked with the ranch horses. Ruth and Slats were married in 1951 and had two children, Sidney Sue (Gregory) and Jay Dailey Helm. ----------------
Her quotes- „We got to do what we loved to do to in a time of war.“ "You want to be the next 'Greatest Generation?' Then return to the values that we lived by in 1942, 1944: sexual relations are for marriage, marriage is for life, there's a right and a wrong, you are responsible for your own actions...and a strong faith in God." 1.) photo: WASP Ruth Dailey in a P-38 at Love Field, Dallas 1943.
3.) WASP pilot Ruth Dailey climbing into a P-38 Lightning aircraft, 28 Nov 1944