Central High School honors alumna who saved nearly a dozen lives

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Central High School has unveiled a new historical marker, honoring a heroic alumna who saved nearly a dozen lives.

Mary Frances Housley graduated from Central in 1944 before going to work as a flight attendant for National Airlines.

After seven years on the job, a plane she was serving on, crashed while landing and caught on fire.

Housley helped 10 passengers escape from the burning plane, and died trying to save another.

The Tennessee historical marker unveiled honoring Mary Frances Housley.

A Tennessee state historical marker now shares her story.

“This story needs to be shared and told with future generations. Her story just touched me personal, professional and spiritual level. Help her be remembered locally.”

Chris Hammond – health science teacher at Central High

Teacher Chris Hammond uncovered her story in the school’s library and sent it to the State Historical Commission.

Housley’s nephew was able to come to town to celebrate the marker’s unveiling.

Photos of Mary Frances Housley on display at the unveiling of a Tennessee history marker honoring her for her heroic act of saving 10 people during an airplane crash landing.


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