Eunice Standish Oates

Eunice Oates

Eunice Standish Oates (1911-1981) was a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) during WWII. When we honored the WASP from Rhode Island back in 2006, there was little information we could find about Eunice, the first Rhode Islander to join the WASP initiative. We were unable to track down her family, and learned very little about her background.

Eunice’s listed home of record upon entering the service was Providence. She graduated with WASP class 43-4 and was later stationed at Newcastle Army Air Base in Wilmington, DE, where she flew with the 2nd Ferrying Group. 

Thanks to the geometric increase in information available on the internet, and the growth of genealogy websites, we have since been able to learn more of Eunice’s story and track down several of her family members. The key to her story was to learn that Oates was her married name; she was brought up in Rhode Island as a Standish. It turns out that she is a direct descendant of Myles Standish of Mayflower and Plymouth Colony fame. Her father was ninth in descent from Captain Standish through the leader’s third son, Josiah.

For many years her father and other family members ran powerful advertising companies, including Standish-Barnes, which dominate local billboard advertising for decades. Eunice was an accomplished singer who studied at Vassar’s College of music, and she spent most of her post war years teaching piano and singing in Memphis. She died there August 3, 1981.

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