102-year-old Black Veteran Takes Skydiving Off Her Bucket List For Birthday


Vivian “Millie” Bailey just celebrated her 102nd birthday in a daring skydiving stunt. Born in 1918 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bailey took part in the filming of the series Honor Flight Heroes to make the 10,000 foot jump. 

Bailey was inspired by former President George H. W. Bush who went skydiving at age 90 back in 2014. “I was inspired by the fact that he did it,” she told WJLA, “The fact that a person at that age could do the jump.” 

Producers of the show covered Bailey’s $300 ticket to do the jump after hearing about her bucket list item wish. She was accompanied by dozens of her close family members and friends. Even officials and residents from Howard County, Maryland came out to support Millie’s jump.

Millie initially joined the United States Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942, rising to the rank of second lieutenant by April of the next year. “I was living in Oklahoma and job opportunities were terrible because most of the country was segregated at that time,” she shared. She retired after being honorably discharged in 1946. 

The veteran currently lives at an assisted-living facility in Columbia, Maryland where staff reports she is doing well. 

When asked by her SkyDive Baltimore instructor if she would do it again, she responded, “Just once is enough!”  

Photo: Getty Images