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Gold Medal In Residence

THE WASP GOLD MEDAL is now in


residence in the National Air and Space
Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center,
located
near
Dulles
Airport
outside
Washington D.C.
DAWNSEYMOUR,43-5, WASP Memorials
Chair, visited the museum in April this
year to see the Gold Medal in place and on
exhibit for all to see. The medal is part of the
new WASP exhibit at the museum.

Two WASP WAI Hall


of Fame Inductees
WASP MARTY WYALL and HAZEL AH
two of the five women
inducted into this year's Women in Aviation
(WAI) Pioneer Hall of Fame, February 26,
2011.

YING LEE were

Marty, a graduate of the last WASP class


(44-10), served as unofficial historian of
the WASP from the early 1960s until the
WASP selected Texas Woman's University
in Denton in 1991 to be the permanent home
of their Archives, the repository of their
stories, papers and photos.
Marty stored WASP papers, photos and
clippings in the garage on her Indiana farm
and carefully tended them for 30 years. Had
it not been for Marty's efforts, much of the
WASP history would have been lost.

WASP 25th anniversary celebration plaque,


designed by Paul Crews, husband of WAFS
Nancy Batson. Marty was a key participant
in the organization of the 1975 reunion in
Reno, and served again as WASP president
1994-1996.
Two of her sons, Sumner (a Southwest
Airlines pilot) and John, escorted her at the
Awards banquet.

After holding yearly reunions from 1946


through 1949, the WASP ceased to meet for
15 years. "Everyone was getting married,
having babies, following their servicemen
husbands overseas. It became too much,"
says Marty.

Hazel, one of two Chinese-American


women to serve with the WASP, was
honored posthumously. She was a member
of WASP Class 43-4 and went on to ferry
pursuit airplanes for the Army Air Forces'
Ferrying Division.

It was Marty who organized the next


reunion - in 1964 in Cincinnati. She also
was elected president and served until
1969 when the women gathered again for a
reunion at Jackie Cochran's ranch in Indio,
California. There, she was awarded the

Hazel lost her life in one of those pursuits.


Landing a P-63 (Bell Kingcobra) in Great
Falls Montana, November 23, 1944, she
collided with another airplane also on final
approach to land. The tower was blamed for
the accident.

Her sister,
Frances
Tong, accepted
Hazel's Pioneer Hall of Fame plaque at the
WAI banquet Saturday night. Frances also
was in D.C. to accept Hazel's Gold Medal
and to lay her commemorative
rose at the
March 9 Memorial Service remembering
the 38 WASP who died serving in WWII.
That service was held at the new Air Force
Memorial.
Also inducted into the 2011 Pioneer Hall
of Fame were: WAI founder and president
Dr. Peggy Chabrian; AF Major General
Susan Helms, Director of Plans and Policy
for the U.S. Strategic Command, and a
former NASA
astronaut;
and Tammy
Duckworth, Army pilot who lost her legs in
the crash of her Black Hawk helicopter in
Iraq. She is now the Assistant Secretary for
Public and Intergovernmental
Affairs for
the Department ofYeterans Affairs.

See photos on Page 2.

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WASP Cast Golden Glow at WAI in Reno


Sarah Byrn Rickman, WASP News editor
The neon glow from Reno's slot machines couldn't match the golden glow exuded by II WASP at the 22nd annual Women In
Aviation, Inc., conference Feb. 24-26, at the Grand Sierra Resort.
Attending WAI this year were:
MCCREERY

JAN GOODRUM

(44-10), ALYCE ROHRER

(43-8), BEE HAYDU (44-7), SHIRLEY

(44-4), DAWN SEYMOUR

KRUSE (44-6), DOT LEWIS (44-5), JEAN

(43-5), A.J. STARR (43-4), LUCILE WISE (43-7), MARTY WYALL (44-

10), and MILLIE YOUNG (44-10). Jan, Alyce, Dawn, AJ and Lucile had a daughter in tow. (Dawn also had a granddaughter.) Dot
and Millie each had a son along for company. I had the pleasure of traveling west on Amtrak with Jean and Marty and rooming
with Bee.

It was my pleasure to present WASP GOLD - a slide show documentary of the events on March 9 and 10, 2010, in Washington
D.C., when you-all were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. I showed some gorgeous WASP portraits taken by Bill Young,
Millie Young's talented professional photographer son. I also had the use of snapshots taken by Air Force Reserve photographers,
courtesy Major Andra P. Higgs.
Kate Landdeck also gave a WASP presentation, Both of us spoke to nearly full houses and the WASP, out in force for both,
held forth and answered questions to the delight of the crowd. WAFS BARBARA LONDON was not in Reno, but her daughter and
granddaughter Terry and Kelly Rinehart were in the audience for my presentation and spoke briefly.
TWU and the WASP Collection and Archives were WELL represented. Libraries Director Sherilyn Bird and Special Collections
Coordinator Kimberly Johnson both were in the TWU booth talking to people, I was fortunate enough to join them as I've done so
much of my research for my WASP books at TWU. I enjoyed being able to talk to other researchers and authors about the wealth
of information available in the WASP Collection. And I was able to sell my four WASP books to visitors to the booth. [See photo
on Page 2.]
Women in Aviation International is Mecca for all women of aviation - and for many men as well. Women aviators of today's
military, as well as women airline, corporate, private and student pilots and non-flying aviation personnel of all callings come to
rub elbows with their peers - to absorb and learn and leave with new goals entered on their life's flight plan.
And above all else, the WASP truly are the rock stars of aviation's women today. They DO draw a crowd!

Volume XLVIV NO.1


WASP News is published twice
yearly at Denton, Texas.
Postage paid at Denton, Texas.
Editor - Sarah Rickman
10 N. Johanna Dr., Centerville OH 45459
Phone & Fax 937-434-5979
Cell 937-581-0837
E-mail: Srickl8153@aol.com
Publisher - Kimberly Johnson
Texas Woman's University
Phone: 940-898-3743
Cell: 940-390-1188
E-mail: kjohnson27@mail.twu.edu
Class News - 1943: Lucile Wise
E-mail: LucileWise@aol.com
Class News - 1944: Jean McCreery
E-mail: waspilot@msn.com
@

2011 Texas Woman's University

Summer 2011

Contributors for this issue:


Jacque Boyd, Friend
Cappy Bridge 43-2
Radford Crews, KOW
Betty Darst, Friend
Kris Lent Gros 44-3
Bee Haydu 44-7
Pat Jernigan, Friend
Websites:
TWU/WASP Archives:
WASP on the Web:
Wings Across America:
WASP Museum:
Wingtip-to-Wingtip Assn:
Back cover photos by
Bill Young, son of
Millicent Young (44-10),
taken at the Gold Medal
Ceremony March 10, 2010.
~ Figurativephoto. com

Albert Z. "Chig" Lewis, KOW


Jean McCreery 44-10
Geri Nyman 43-1
Honey Fulton Parker, sister of
WAFS Dorothy Fulton
Pat Thomas, KOW
Lucile Wise 43-7
Bill Young, KOW
twu.edu/library/wasp
http://www.wwii-women-pilots.org
http://www.wingsacrossamerica.org
waspmuseum.org
www.wtwa.org and www.fifinella.com

DEADLINE
Next Issue Planned for December 2011
Deadline for news is November

1, 2011
3

WASP Endowment $678,270.69


We thank you for all the generous gifts and acknowledgements honoring your classmates, families, and
friends. The following donations were received after October 1,2010.
Honoring Living WASP
Katherine ''Kitty'' Willinger. 44-W-8
by Richard Willinger, son

Outright Gifts
Betty June Overman Brown, 44-W-7
Irma "Babe" Story, 44-W-7
Elaine Harmon, 44- W-9
Ravenna Leigh Baker, 44- W-7
June Bent, 44-W-3
Bee Falk Haydu, 44- W-7
Doris E. Lockness, 43- W-4t
Helen Snapp, 43- W-4
Capt. Lucy B. Young, USN Ret.
American Legion Auxiliary

Elizabeth Whitlow Smith, 43-W-2


by Michael J. Rummerfield, son
Betty Wall Stroh/us. 44-W-I
by Becky Seeger

Awards
Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, 2010 Leadership Award

Memorial Gifts
Anna White, 44-W-I
by Pat Young, 44- W-I t

NEW:
Checks to the WASP Endowment
Should Read "TWU Foundation"
The Woman's Collection appreciates all that our donors do
to support the WASP Endowment. The initiatives undertaken
to preserve the WASP legacy are made possible in part by the
generosity of our donors. We are committed to keeping you
updated about the WASP Endowment.
However, we must tell you of an important change.
Newly established banking regulations now require that
donations BY CHECK to the WASP Endowment be made out to
the TWU Foundation. The words WASP Endowment should now
be written in the Memo Line. Please see the enclosed graphic
for the example of how the check needs to be made out.
For your donating convenience, credit card donations are also
an option. Please feel free to call me - Kimberly Johnson, 940898-3743 - if you have any questions. We appreciate all you do to
support the WASP Endowment.
Example:

Calendar of Events
July 25-31,2011 - AirVenture at Oshkosh. The
Women in Aviation International (WAI) Connect
Breakfast is Friday, July 29, at 8 a.m. Other
plans pending. Contact Bee Haydu for lodging
information: 281-239-9520; beehaydu @beehaydu.
com.
October 7-9,2011 -

Commemorative Air
Force to Honor the WASP, at its annual AIRSHO
- Midland International Airport, between
Midland and Odessa Texas. The contact is Col.
Sharon Short: email.sharonshort@mfpoer.com;
home phone 817-656-5052; work phone 972-7701188.See article on page 12.
November 8,2011 -

Date

$ IAMOUNTI

~~~.:,,~EROFTWU
FOUNDATION
AMOUNT SPELLED OUT

Dollars

WASP ENDOWMENT
Memo

"The WAFS Story"


at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 8,2011, at
the Warner Student Life Center, Brookdale
Community College, Lincroft, NJ. Reception and
viewing of a WAFS Exhibit to follow. See article
on page 13.

Signature

Summer 2011

Vi Cowden, WASP President 1996-1998, Flies West


Former WASP President Violet Thurn Cowden, 43-4, died
peacefully in her sleep in Huntington Beach, California, on
April 1O,201l.
Vi was born Oct. I, 1916,in a sod house on a farm in Bowdle,
South Dakota. From early childhood, "I wanted to fly like the
hawks," she told an interviewer. She made good on her dream.
After graduating from high school she received a scholarship
to Spearfish Normal School in Spearfish, SD, where she received
her teaching certificate. She obtained her pilot's license while
teaching first grade in Spearfish, and was accepted for WASP
training in February 1943.
Assigned to the Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command,
Love Field, Texas, after graduation from Sweetwater, she ferried
UC-78s, AT-6s and other aircraft and then was sent to pursuit
training in Brownsville, Texas, where she graduated May 15,
1944. She flew all the training planes, plus the P-40, P-63, P-39,
P-47, and her favorite, the P-5l. She called it "the love of her
life" and she ferried a bunch of them!
During WWII, a ferry pilot could bump any passenger on
an airline (other than the president, himself, or his cabinet)
enroute to an assignment. Vi was a ferry pilot. Once, on landing
in Memphis, she saw a huge crowd of young girls waiting at the
gate, jumping up and down and screaming. They were waiting
for Frank Sinatra. Vi learned, to her great amusement, that she
had bumped the popular crooner at the last stop.
After deactivation she went into the ceramic business. She
married Scott Cowden - the other love of her life - in 1955,
and they lived in Huntington Beach, California, just one block
from the ocean. She was Director of the Teacher Resource

For Dora -

Note: Harry
of
DORA

McKeown,
DOUGHERTY

took his last


flight Oct. 9, 2010. Jacque Boyd stood up
for them at their wedding back in 2003.
STROTHER

MCKEOWN (43-3),

When Harry and Dora began "dating"


I was the third-wheel-chaperone! When
"we" would go dancing, I'd sit and watch
while Harry and Dora danced. After it
was evident that marriage was in the air
I asked Harry what the date might be.
He said they'd get married when he got
permission from her parents! Talk about
a "stall effort!"
One Saturday evening Dora called me.
"Tomorrow. Church. Be there."

Summer 2011

At the age of 89 she


became the oldest person
to skydive in tandem with
the Golden Knights, the
Army's elite parachute
team. In May 2009, at 92,
she took a ride in a rare
2-seat P-51 and had the
time of her life. The ride
was captured on film.
In 2010, Wings of
Silver: The Vi Cowden
Story a 33-minute
Vi Cowden, 43-4
documentary on Vi's life
and times as a WASP - was released. www.wingsofsilver.
com. The film has won several documentary awards.
Vi was active in the Southern California WASP group and
in the national WASP organization, serving as President 19961998. And of course, on March 10,2010, Vi joined some 200
of her living WASP sisters to receive the Congressional Gold
Medal in Washington D.C.
She is survived by a daughter, Kim, and three grandchildren.
Her husband preceded her in death.
A remarkable woman and a friend to all, she will be sorely
missed. (See Jean McCreery's tribute to Vi, page 35.)

In Memory of Harry

By Jacque Boyd, WASP Friend


Editor's
husband

Center for 10years. In her


later years she became
active in civic affairs and
environmental causes.

It told me everything I needed to


know. At church I saw another one of our
mutual friends; Dorothy. The four of us
sat together - three silver-haired Ph.D.s
and Harry. The Episcopal Priest stood up
and told the congregation that we weren't
having a sermon that morning, but that
we were going to have a wedding!
In the years since Dora's first husband,
Lester, passed away she and I had a way
of coping with the craziness that often
comes with widowhood. She'd call and
say that a squirrel had invaded her family
room and then "I think I'll have another
Chardonnay." When I'd come back from
a trip to find a tree down in my front yard,
I'd call her and say, "I think I'll have
another Chardonnay." In fact, we had so

many little incidences she wrote them up


in a little book that I refer to quite often,
along with having a glass of Chardonnay.
We stood at the front of the church,
Harry and his friend plus Dora, Dorothy
and me. As the Priest reached the point
in the vows when he said, "Is there
anyone who objects to this marriage,"
Dora leaned over to me and whispered,
"I think I'll have another Chardonnay!"
It was far from the first time in my life
that I played the part of bridal attendant,
but it was the first time I got to stand up
as witness for someone I loved and didn't
have to wear a dorky dress! Dora and
Harry, what a pair and what an example
they were.

tFRO~' THE EpITQR'S MAIL ~o


Look What We Started!

Veterans' Day 2010

From Cappy Vail Bridge, 43-2

Editor's Note: The following report Veterans' Day 2010 Celebration at the WWll
Memorial in Washington D.C - is courtesy
WASP Friend Pat Jernigan, Us. Army
Colonel (Retired). Please also note her Post
Script regarding the individual Gold Medals
the WASP received March 10, 2010.

Dear Sarah:
For your interest, and for all the WASP, I call your attention to the
recent issue of Time magazine, dated April 18, 2011. Page 37 has a
most interesting article entitled Air Boss - Major General Maggie
Woodward. She is the Air Force general in charge of the mission of
u.S. fighter planes involved in the NATO air cover over Libya!
She has logged (according to the article) more than 4000 hours and
is one of 612 women pilots in the U.S. Air Force. Please note, that is
less than 5 percent among 13,000 Air Force pilots!
Robert Gates pronounced, "Woodward's efforts a success 'because
much of Gaddaffi's military has been destroyed.'"
My reaction of amazement: "Look what we started!"
Editor's Note: Author of the Time article is Mark Thompson. All
WASP,KOWs and FOWs need to read the article in its entirety, but to
give you a couple of quick quotes from it:
"Operation Odyssey Dawn marked the first time in U.S. history
that a woman commanded a military air campaign."
No wonder Cappy exclaims, "Look what we started?"
General Woodward asked the reporter if he planned to "get into
the first woman thing?" And when asked if she considered herself
a role model for girls, she responded that she hoped to inspire both
boys and girls.
You REALLY need to read this article. It will make you proud.
Ask your local library Reference Department to access it for you on
the Internet and e-mail you a link. That's what 1did.
THANK YOU, CAPPY!

Veterans Day (2010) in Washington DC was


a lovely day and there was a lovely early morning
ceremony at the World War II Memorial to honor
veterans, particularly WW-2, and within that group,
particularly women vets. It was great to see ELAINE
HARMON (44-9) representing the WASP.Don't believe
other WASP attended. It was early and brisk which
would have discouraged some.
Women from all the military services were present
- Elizabeth McIntosh representing the OSS (Julia
Childs worked for her when she was with OSS), and
several who had worked in industry. A Gold Star
mother (also a veteran) was also among the special
honorees. The ceremony keynote speaker was GEN
Ann Dunwoody.
The oldest vet there was retired WAC LTC Luta
McGrath who celebrated her 103rd birthday the next
week ... she's an inspiration! Still fully with it, and she
gets around fairly well, though for today's events she
was in a chair. At the Women's Memorial Veterans'
Day remembrance in 2009 Colonel McGrath gave an
excellent ten minute talk, off the cuff, telling about
her military service.

Passing the Torch

Thanks to all the veterans, WASP, KOW, FOW et


ai, best wishes on this Veterans Day!

[Note: The author of this letter is Radford Crews. His Mom, WAFS
was his flight instructor when he earned his
private pilot's license in 1975. He went on to become a captain with
Sky West Airlines, the job from which he retired this spring.}

P.S. re: the Gold Medal

NANCY BATSON CREWS,

Dear Sarah,
Thanks for sending the newsletter along.
In mentioning what those bold ladies did regarding furthering the
cause of women, don't forget how many young men were mentored
and trained by those gals. Their influence has reached far and wide
in aviation.
1 know of one fortunate young guy who was lucky enough to
achieve an entire career flying because of them.

I suspect quite a few people thought the [Gold]


medals were "issued" by the government - it wasn't
so! WIMSA purchased them. Only the original (now
in the Smithsonian - see photo on Page I) was
provided. Individual medals, when a Congressional
Gold Medal is issued, are available from the US
Mint, but purchase is strictly optional. This was one
reason that the Women's Memorial staff worked hard
to identify a single recipient, either the WASP herself,
or a single family member. I know there were some
family members who also wanted medals.

Pat Jernigan, WASP Friend

And now, 1 am retired. I am enjoying the early stage of my

Continued on Page 13
6

Summer 2011

News From The TWU WASP Archive


By Kimberly Johnson, Special Collections Coordinator, TWU
I am delighted to share with you a recap of last year's WASP activity involving the
archives as well as to preview some of our goals and initiatives for this year. In future
editions of the WASP News, you will receive updates about the projects we have been
supporting and assisting across the country. My staff and I are committed to doing all
that we can to ensure that the legacy of the WASP endures for generations to come.
What an amazing and incredible year 2010 was for the Woman's Collection. As a
result of the Congressional Gold Medal, the WASP received unprecedented
media
coverage around the nation. This extensive coverage included interviews, news and
feature stories, and articles online and in printed publications about the WASP before
and after the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in March.
Producers and editors from major news outlets such as ABC, NBC, and Hearst
Television utilized resources from the WASP archive including photographs and film
for their broadcast and print stories. Last year the staff responded to approximately
300 requests for archival assistance about the WASP. We continue to support students,
researchers, scholars, authors, and educators with materials from the archive to complete
and propel their projects forward.

Jean McCreery, 44-10


@BiII Young, Figurativephoto.com

Spring 2010, the History Channel visited the Woman's Collection and filmed footage
for its Saving History Project. This project featured footage shot by ALBERTA KINNEY,
44-7, while she was at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. During March, National
Public Radio interviewed Dr. Kate Landdeck, WASP historian. The story entitled
Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls on NPR's website credits the Woman's
Collection for source materials.
In April, PEARL JUDD, MICKEY BRIGHT and her daughter, Mary Ann Slate (niece of
joined the
TWU community to celebrate Founders' Day. Dr. Landdeck was the keynote speaker at
the luncheon, which honored the WASP for their achievements during their country's
hour of greatest need.
DORIS BRISTOL TRACY), and Nancy Hoing (daughter of BUCKY RICHARDS)

Last summer, MARTYWYALLAND JEAN MCCREERY visited the Woman's Collection.


They spent their time working with our collections and especially our photographs to
identify photos for the WASP digital collections. Their dedication to assuring that as
many photographs as possible are identified is invaluable as was their willingness to
give their time. Our student assistants were thrilled to have had the opportunity to meet
Marty and Jean. As one student said as they were leaving, "I have met celebrities, just
wait until I tell my family."

Pearl Judd, 44-8

I am happy to report that we began digitizing your oral history interviews last
summer and we are planning to have this project wrapped up by the end of the year.
With this digitization initiative underway, we foresee using portions of this audio online.
In addition, 12 new oral history interviews were conducted and 34 others transcribed.
We are steadfastly working to complete this project and get finished books in the hands
of WASP and family members.
We continue to support exhibitions featuring the WASP around the country. Last
year alone, we assisted with more than 30 exhibits including the Bob Bullock Texas
State Historical Museum, The Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas, and the Museum of
Flight in Seattle, Washington, just to name a few. Users of the collection have included
various news and print organizations around the country from east to west and all points
in between - more than 60 last year. Articles were printed in such publications as
WARBIRDS Digest, The Daily Astorian, the Statesman-Journal, Michigan History, the
Dallas Morning News, and the Maine Independent Journal.

Continued on Page 8
Summer 2011

Marty Wyall, 44-10


@BiII Young, Figurativephoto.com

TWU Has Presence


at WAI in Reno
Submitted by Kimberly Johnson,
Coordinator Special Collections
During
Women
in Aviation's
annual
conference
held in Reno, Nevada, earlier
this year, the TWU Libraries were on hand
"womaning"
a booth and discussing with
women from across the aviation industry and
throughout the military the importance of
preserving their history and archiving their
papers.
Sherilyn Bird, Director of TWU Libraries,
and Kimberly Johnson, Coordinator of Special
Collections,
along with Sarah Rickman,
WASP historian/author
and editor of the
WASP News, spent time sharing the WASP
legacy with women of all ages. Throughout
the conference,
WASP JEAN MCCREERY,
LUCILE WISE, DAWN SEYMOUR, and DOT
SWAIN LEWIS spent time at TWU's booth
signing autographs and passing out literature
about the archive to interested persons.
"This was a time to network and reconnect
with friends and supporters of TWU," said
Kim berly Joh nson, Coord inator of Collections.
"We had a wonderful time meeting the movers
and shakers of the aviation industry.
"As we move forward to grow the collection,
we are focused on further developing and
defining our concentration
of women in
aviation and women in military collections.
Because of the WASP, Whirly Girls, and
Women Military Aviators collections, we are a
premier resource for researchers and scholars
whose work is about women's military and
aviation history," Johnson said.
Following their return to Dallas, the Special
Collections
immediately
began receiving
photograph
collections
for the library's
digital initiative. The staff has been working
diligently to get these photos processed for
upload to their digital collections by the end
of the summer.
The TWU Libraries is planning
next year to WAI, scheduled to be
Texas. The staff had a debriefing
month after the event and planning
under way for next year.

to return
in Dallas,
meeting a
is already

News From The WASP Archive


Continued/rom

Page 7

As with any archive, the digitization


of materials and photographs remains
a top priority. Plans are already
underway to determine the next series
of WASP photograph
collections
to be digitized and made available
online. The $25,000 gift award from
the Robert Dole Institute for Politics
is enabling us to create new web
pages rich in content and graphics.
This prestigious award recognizes the
achievements
and accomplishments
of individuals because of their public
service that encourages and inspires
others. The WASP were the first
group to be awarded this honor.
As your official archive, one of
our major objectives with the new
website is to illustrate the richness
and uniqueness
of the WASP
collection and the vast resources
available.
This includes primary
source materials
such as letters
written
during
wartime,
diaries
detailing
daily
activities,
more
than 1000 biographical
files on
WASP, trainees,
instructors,
and
staff, as well as an array of official
documents,
log books,
accident
reports, and military orders. We are
creating detailed finding aids for
each of the manuscript,
clothing,
and artifact collections intended to
aid historians and scholars in the
research process. Further, we are
enhancing the collection of data we
capture for our digital collections
and, beginning this summer, will be
modifying our records again with the
purpose of making searching easier
for users.

Kate Landdeck

Mickey Bright, 43-7


Photo courtesy
the Air Force Reserve

As 2010 drew to a close with Gold Medal excitement still lingering in the
air, the staff at the Woman's Collection could not help but wonder what 2011
would have in store for the WASP. Preparing ourselves for summer 2011, the
momentum and enthusiasm is at an all time high as requests for information
continue to come in to the archive daily.
Each of us looks forward to the second half of 2011 and what it means
for the WASP and their archive. But one thing is certain, we are sure
that whatever our days are like, we will continue to educate and support
researchers, historians, students, and aviation enthusiasts about the story of
the WASP -transforming
one patron at a time.

Summer 2011

Six WASP Buzz the Big Apple!


By Jean McCreery, 44-10
When the invitation came inviting the WASP to a Recognition banquet of
THE WINGS CLUB of New York, a venerable pilots association of 68 years,
I was surprised and thrilled. Even though it came on top of the Women in
Aviation International Conference in February in Reno, six WASP answered
the call and off we went to New York City not knowing what to expect.
Where could we stay? The flights on Jet Blue were provided, but housing
was up to us. Fortunately my son lives on Long Island and offered his home
even though I invited two WASP from my class (44-10) and their families. My
daughter-in-law welcomed us graciously and we had a wonderful house party
with, believe it or not, beautiful weather! How lucky can we get?
We rented a great Toyoto van, with MILLIE YOUNG'S son, Bill, to drive,
and using a Garmin to tell us where to go, we really did the town! Millie's
daughter, Martha Young, flew in from Montana to enjoy her mother's honors.
The WINGS CLUB Recognition Program was on Wednesday, March
30, 2011, at the Yale Club. The WASP received the Annual Wings Club/
IAWA Outstanding Aviator Award. IAWA stands for International Aviation
Women's Association - a group of women in executive positions in the field
of aviation.
Dinner afterwards at the Cafe Centro was hosted by IAWA and their
president-elect, Mylene Schotnick. We were treated so graciously by these
organizations and everything went without a flaw! WASP attending were:
JAN

GOODRUM,

DAWN SEYMOUR,

JEAN

MCCREERY,

MARTY

WYALL,

and KATHERINE
WILLINGER.
Katherine,
whose
address is 35 Park Avenue, simply walked around the corner escorted by her
nephew, Charles Willinger. Other family members accompanied us. They
included Dawn's son and daughter and Jan's granddaughter and her husband.

MILLICENT

YOUNG

Somehow, I am always astonished at what a great "show" we can put on


when we get together! We seem to inspire each other and I am so proud of
all the WASP when we accept honors for our distant past as though it were
yesterday.
Since we had a week to spend in the "Big Apple" we took a day for a selfguided tour of Manhattan and a day to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
We even toured Theodore Roosevelt's home, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay
on Long Island.
And we had a wonderful surprise when, at lunch at a local bistro (Louie's)
in Port Washington, JAN GOODRUM and her granddaughter,
with family,
walked in! What a wonderful coincidence!
Thankfully, we made all plane connections and dinner engagements and
even found a parking place to see the Statue of Liberty from the Bowery Park!
And DAWN SEYMOUR adds:
What a happy, delightful evening we had and we thank the WINGS Club,
the IAWA, and Jet Blue for their generosity in honoring the WASP WWII.
It was a delight to meet Sallie Bondy, Director Sales & Marketing Operations
Commercial Airplanes The Boeing Company, who attended the Annual IAWA
Meeting and the lovely dinner at the Cafe Centro later that evening.

Monument Honors
Four Local WASP
By Pat Thomas, daughter of
Audrey Tardy Brady, 43-7
A WASP Monument that honors
four "home town girls" - WASP with
connection to the Antelope Valley was dedicated Memorial Day at the
Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster CA.
The monument is of black granite
with porcelain portraits of the four
WASP: MARGARET MCANALLY, 436; IRMA "BABE"
BELLE

REECE,

STORY, 43-6; FLORA


44-4 and MARGARET

"TY" KILLEN, 44-8.

Recessed in the granite are U.S.


Mint replicas of the front and back
of the Congressional Gold Medal the
WASP received March 10, 2010. A
steel archway and Fifinella top the
granite monument, symbolizing
the
entrance to Avenger Field.
On either side of the walkway
leading up to the monument are 38
engraved bricks to honor the 38 WASP
pilots who were killed during their
service. The bricks carry names, class
and hometown of each of the 38.
Three
Kids of WASP (KOWs)
attended in honor of their deceased
mothers: Tom Sword, Bruce Guthrie,
and Pat Thomas, as well as family
members and friends of the three
WASP who were present. We lost Ty
Killen in January of this year. WASP
Jan Wood attended,
as did Sallie
Russell, Doris Tanner's sister.
The keynote speaker, Col. Dawn M.
Dunlop, USAF, is the Commander of
the 412th Test Wing at the Air Force
Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force
Base. Her resume includes combat
time in the F-15E.
The local community has supported
this monument with funds raised by a
local middle school, Rotary Club and
the AV 99s.

What fun for all of us WASP to be together again.


(See photo on Page 39)

Summer 2011

Tornado Uninvited Guest at WASP Sun n Fun Luncheon


By Bee Haydu, 44-7
A tornado with 90-100 mph winds turned out to be the
surprise - and most unwelcome - guest at the annual
WASP luncheon hosted by the Ninety-Nines, March 31, at
Sun n Fun, Lakeland, Florida.
WASP BEE HAYDU instantly became our on-the-scene
reporter and, here, provides an eyewitness account of the
mayhem created when the storm hit their tent and the
amazingly quick response of the 70 occupants. Here's her
account:
The luncheon was being catered in a large tent adjacent to
the museum. We were all seated at long tables and the caterer
was starting to put out his special buffet as the black clouds
and high winds hit.
Lana Kraeszig, a Ninety-Nine, shouted, "Get under the
tables." A group tried to close the tent openings but the wind
was too strong. KAY HILBRANDT was having back problems
that prevented her from getting completely under. When the
roof collapsed, the water began accumulating and pressing
against her back. Her niece, Marie Friese, managed to get
to her and stood over her allowing the water to drain. She
remained there until we were rescued.
Susan King pulled JANET SIMPSON to the floor and
shielded her from debris. An unidentified Ninety-Nine [we'd
like to have name] helped lower TEX MEACHAM to the floor
and shielded her. It got very crowded under those tables
and things started blowing around. The storm lasted 10-15
minutes. We learned later that a tornado was imbedded in the
thunderstorm.
When I finally got out from under the table, I was surprised
to see that a portion of the tent was lying on the tables and
when I stood up, the top of the tent was on my head. We were
all very wet but Susan and Marie were soaked to the skin.
Rescuers - both in the tent, strangers outside, and museum
volunteers - came quickly to lead us out of the rubble. One
young man actually carried LIZ STROHFUS out. [Editor's

note: We heard via the grapevine that Liz told her rescuer that
it was the "most fun " she'd had all day!}
We were next to the museum, so made our way there, still
getting drenched from the falling rain. Inside, we were given
box lunches and placed in the safest part of the building in the
event more tornados came.
We stayed in the museum for several hours since more
storms were predicted and all roads were closed. Extensive
damage was done to the airport, several airplanes were severely
damaged, turned upside down, etc. Trees were uprooted and
flooding was everywhere.
Our deepest THANKS to the many unsung heroes who did
so much for us. We wish we had all your names.
Susan King and Bob Oehl of Wings of Dreams made
it possible for the following WASP to attend Sun n Fun in
Lakeland, Florida. KAY HILBRANDT 44-10, PENNY HALBERG
44-6, BEE HAYDU 44-7, SHIRLEY

KRUSE 44-6, TEX MEACHAM

43-7, BETTY JO REED 44-7, HELEN SNAPP 43-4, JANET SIMPSON


44-6, LIZ STROHFUS

44-1.

Susan and Bob have been doing this for a few years and give
us VIP treatment. The Ninety-Nines have a permanent building
on the grounds and generously invite the WASP to make it their
headquarters. They are exceptionally gracious hosts.
Wings of Dreams is in the process of building a hangarmuseum at Keystone Heights Airport, Florida, near Gainesville.
They have already been awarded the Guidance & Navigation
Simulator used to train astronauts and are planning a large
exhibit featuring the WASP. More about them on their website,
www.wingsofdreams.org.
Observation: Every WASP came out from under the tent
with her pocket book.
Question for Susan and Bob: What do you have planned
for us next year?
See photos on Page 39.

CAF to Honor WASP at Annual AIRSHO, Oct. 7-9


The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) plans to honor
the WASP at its annual AIRSHO, Oct. 7-9, at Midland
International Airport located between Midland and
Odessa TX.
To view the show, WASP attending - and an escort will have reserved seating in the Prime Viewing area. This
is an opportunity to see many flyable warbirds and witness
reenactments of WWII's notable air battles. And there will
be flight demonstrations of today's finest military airplanes.
WASP also are asked to participate in the Saturday parade on
the airport grounds. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

10

Ifinterested in attending -and FOR MORE INFORMATION


- contact Col. Sharon Short: email sharonshort@mfppoer.
com; or by phone. Her home number, 817-656-5052; her work
number, 972-770-1188. Arrangements are being made to cover
much of the WASP's travel and lodging expenses, as well as
those of her escort.
The CAF hopes this will be an opportunity for a WASP
Reunion, Colonel Short says. "You played a very special and
important role in our nation's history and we have not forgotten,
so please make a decision to honor us with your attendance and
allow us to show our appreciation for your service."

Summer 2011

Bean Salad, Bamboo Bombers


For 'Guinea Pig' Class 43-1
By Ger; Nyman, 43-1
Twenty-five women from all over
the U.S. headed for Houston. For this
first class Jackie Cochran had selected
members who had lots of flying hours.
She said if this first 25 didn't make it
the whole program would go down the
drain. She warned us to expect bad stuff
in Houston.
Four of us from New York drove to
Houston in two cars. We headed for the
municipal airport - not Ellington Field,
which was next door. We would be given
$150 a month and had to pay our own
room and board. We were told we had to
find our own housing. A lot of the girls
went into town to a hotel because they
had to take a bus or cab to the airport.
Eventually, the base found an old cattle
truck without seats to transport the girls
from town. MAGDA TACKE and I found a
nice room in a private home near the field
and fortunately had a car to drive back
and forth.
Even though we were using the only
nonmilitary field in Houston, the brass
did not want anyone to know what we
were doing. We were to tell anyone who
asked that we were a basketball team.
With two 5-footers and three close to 6
feet, it was truly a comic opera.
Our headquarters were in an old shack
at the end of the field. That's where
we were to do all our studying and
training. If we wanted to eat or go to the
bathroom, we walked a half-mile up to
the terminal. They did eventually put in a
port-a-potty for us. In the lunchroom, the
commanding officer and the instructors
would sit in the middle ofthe room eating
their steaks, etc. We sat on high stools at
high tables eating starchy foods that were
really bad. We asked for salads for lunch.
So they gave us beans on a lettuce leaf.

\t~J
'"-..
Summer 2011

WI

To show their good humor, they gave us


brown beans one day and white the next.
One of our girls was a stunt pilot.
When she got aboard for her qualifying
run, her young instructor asked her if she
could really fly.
"Do you really want to know?" she
asked. She took off down the field, turned
and flew back over the field upside down,
righted and flew straight up in the air until
she stalled out. What a performance! The
young lieutenant staggered off the plane
and vowed he would never get in a plane
with one of those wild women again.
We really had a comedy when the PTs
- open cockpit trainers - arrived. Two
of our girls were only 5 feet tall. Those
girls required two pillows tied to their
Geri Nyman
parachute and another pillow to sit on.
Photo courtesy
Otherwise they could not reach the rudder
the Air Force Reserve
pedals. In January, it was so cold in the
PTs that we complained. They brought the old truck with no seats. The Air Force
in several boxes of cast-off winter gear realized this program was going to fly so
from Ellington. Not a suit was under size it was transferred to Sweetwater, Texas,
44, and the smallest boots were size 11. to a great facility. We were the only class
Ifwe used the boots we couldn't feel the to graduate from Houston.
rudders.
Twenty-three of us graduated. tWO
One day some heavy equipment dropped out for health reasons. For the
removed a section of fence between our graduation ceremony, we each flew a
field and Ellington. They shoved five plane over to next-door Ellington for
airplanes through the hole. We couldn't the ceremony and formed a half circle
understand why they didn't just fly the around the podium. There, Jackie
planes over. I got a call that night from Cochran presented us with our wings.
a friend at Ellington who said the planes She had purchased the wings herself as
had been junked when termites were the Army still didn't acknowledge us as
discovered in the wings.
real Army Air Force pilots. We had no
If we had complained they would've uniforms but our own tan pants and tan
said we were scared, and it would've been shirts so at least we had something to pin
a good way to get rid of us. So we flew our wings on.
them - the bamboo bombers. We had
From the February 2011 Roadrunner
one minor accident with one plane when Extra, the newsletter for the residents
its wing gave way. Our girl was okay, but of the Beatitudes Campus in suburban
the male instructor was slightly hurt.
Phoenix and published monthly by The
They started a second and a third class
and they stayed in a motel downtown for
a few weeks and rode back and forth in

Writer's Group, (Used with permission.)


Thanks to WASP Friend Betty Darst for
"finding" the story for us.

11

Wind Still Howls at Avenger

WASP Homecoming Held


At Avenger Field, May 28

By Kris Lent Gros, Class 44-3 Secretary

Twenty-two WASP returned to Sweetwater and Avenger


Field on Memorial Day Saturday 2011 to celebrate
Homecoming at the scene of the training and initial
experiences of most WASP OF WWII. Here's the list:
MERIEM

ANDERSON,

BETTY BLAKE, MICKEY

EDNA DAVIS, LEE DOERR,


HALBERG,

LEWIS,

SEYMOUR,

MARY HELEN FOSTER,

BEE HAYDU, KATHLEEN

HOEY, SHIRLEY
DOT

KRUSE,

TEX

BRIGHT,

HILBRANDT,

PENNY
DOTTIE

MARY LAMY, KRIS LENT GROS,

MEACHUM,

BETTY

JO

REED,

DAWN

BARRY SMITH, A.J. STARR, HELEN SNAPP, LIZ

STOHFUS AND MARY ALICE VANDEVENTER.

Chig Lewis, son of DOT SWAIN LEWIS (44-5), gave your


editor an email head's up that they had all arrived and made
it to the Pecan Plantation in Granbury, TX. Chig continues,
"There, they were safely lodged with our generous hosts, the
Los Brazos River 99s, where we had a nice barbeque dinner
poolside Thursday night."
Friday, the WASP contingent were guests at a public
media gathering (see photo of Tex Meacham on page 39)
and Saturday they all headed for Avenger Field for the BIG
EVENT, HOMECOMING, and all the goings on.
Saturday was full of activities with a Fly-In beginning at 8
a.m. and a membership breakfast/ meeting. A car/motorcycle
show began at 9:30 at the Texas Theater and a parade wound
its way from there out to Avenger Field.
BEE HAYDU (44-7) was the luncheon speaker. Bee is the
author of Letters Home, her account of her time in the WASP
and her flying life after.

Students from Highland High School performed a one-act


play about Jackie Cochran, "Fastest Woman Alive," at the
WASP Museum at 1:30 p.m. The WASP were available for
autographs and photos all afternoon and a dinner with Big
Band 1940s era dance was held in Hangar One that evening.
Other highlights included airplane rides given to 60 Young
Eagles - ongoing throughout the day - and, thanks to
Andy and Mike Porter, the appearance of their Stearman
PT-17 - #12 - that served as a trainer for the WASP going
through primary training at Avenger in 1944.
At the moving sunset memorial service, Brig. Gen. Linda
McTague, Air National Guard Retired, read the names of the
38 WASP who died in World War II.
Special thanks to the partnership of American Airlines
and Air Compassion for Veterans who make the free airplane
tickets for the WASP possible.
4620 Haygood Road Suite#l
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Phone: 888-662-6794
www.aircompassionforveterans.org

12

My flight to Homecoming in Sweetwater was delayed by a


hailstorm in Dallas on Thursday so I didn't arrive until Friday.
When I came in to the hangar where the day's gathering was
being held, the WASP were lined up at a long table to introduce
themselves and speak about their experiences. Each one had
a mike and we were to speak for 4 minutes. Some went on at
greater length. An attentive crowd was seated on chairs in the
hangar.
Afterwards we were taken by different hosts to their homes.
Marcia and Roe Walker hosted LEE DOERR, BETTY JO REED
and me. They live on a Pecan plantation in Granbury, TX,
located in the Air Park area where they all have planes and
custom trailer homes.
Saturday they drove six of us to Sweetwater - a 3 hour and
30 minute drive! It was 106 degrees with winds ono mph and
gusts of 50 to 60 mph. We saw a tractor-trailer truck on the
highway that had been blown over!
Avenger Field is vastly different from our training days. Texas
looks a lot greener, but the wind still howls with authority and
the sun beat relentlessly. Despite the huge fans they had in the
museum, it was HOT. The museum had photos of all the WASP
mounted at the top of the walls so you could find yourself there.
We WASP were seated at adjoining tables and people came
to have us autograph books, cards, shirts etc. Four hours of that
convinced me I won't write a book! The High School play about
the life of Jackie Cochran was beautifully acted. Did you know
she had a son when she was 15 and he died in a fire? We didn't!
A brief rest and back for dinner at 6. They had a great dance
band and some of the gals were up dancing.
Attending from Class 44-3: LEE DOERR, MARY HELEN
FOSTER, and yours truly, KRIS LENT GROS. MERIEM ROBY
was there. She began with our class but dropped back when her
buddy RUTH FLEISHER was sick and graduated with 44-4. It
was great to see her.
Sharron and Lana and everyone did a terrific job ...God bless
them. Coordinating this was a challenge.
I am blessed with good genes, go to the Y for aquatic
exercise 2 times a week and it keeps me walking at 90. 1
would recommend that we old relics be treated more gently as
the schedule was strenuous. Betty Jo had just had chemo and
amazed us by coming.
I was given the royal treatment on my flight back to PA. The
Captain announced my service in WW2 to all aboard. I was
escorted to the cabin and a photo taken of me in the pilot's
seat! Upgraded to first class. Passengers applauded. It erased
the rude dismissal we had when we were deactivated!

Summer 2011

All-Female Airmen Team


Launches Historic Mission
from Bagram Afghanistan
By Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Monday, 04 April 2011 22:14
Editor's note: Thefollowing article appeared in my e-mail inbox.
I'm not sure who sent it to me, but! thought the WASP would be
interested.
3/31/2011 - BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) - A
team of female Airmen made history here March 30 when the
F-15E Strike Eagles of "Dudette 07" blazed down the runway to
provide close air support for coalition and Afghan ground forces.
The two-ship formation consisted of all females, two pilots and
two weapons system officers, but more importantly, it marked the
first combat mission flown from Bagram to be planned, maintained
and flown entirely by females.
This mission represents the first combat sortie on record to
involve only female Airmen from the pilots and weapons officers
to the mission planners and maintainers, said Lt. Col. Kenneth
Tilley, the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing historian. Although the
call sign for the mission may have been lighthearted, the sortie was
all business calling for the pilots to travel to the Kunar Valley just
west of the Pakistan border in support of a large Army operation
that was underway.
"I have flown with female pilots before, but this was the first
time 1have flown in an all female flight," said Maj. Christine Mau,
a 455th AEW executive officer. "This wasn't a possibility when I
started flying II years ago."
Editor's note #2: Like CAPPY
Page 6: "Look what we started."

VAIL (43-2)

says in her letter on

Passing the Torch


Continued from Page 6
retirement and am building and racing drag cars. What a thrill.
You will recall how my Mother tried the horseracing thing. I guess
I am still influenced by her personality.
In my study, I have all manner of historic aviation memorabilia.
In one photo you will see Nancy's Gold Medal, along with my
wings, now retired. Her old cloth helmet and goggles are also
visible, as well as my combat helmet from Vietnam. (See photo on
Page 39) My Father's WWII medals are also on display. Did you
know he was awarded the Bronze Star?

'WAFS Evening' Set


at New Jersey College
Tuesday, November 8
Submitted by Honey Fulton Parker,
sister of WAFS Dorothy Fulton
Honey Fulton Parker, sister of WAFS DOROTHY
has given talks about the WAFS - the first
WASP, recruited and led by Nancy Love - for more
than ten years in communities throughout hers and
Dorothy's native New York/New Jersey region.
FULTON,

A year ago, her efforts came to the attention of


Professor Paul Zigo, Associate Professor & Director
of the Center for World War II Studies and Conflict
Resolution at Brookdale Community College,
Lincroft, NJ. Professor Zigo invited Honey to bring
her WAFS presentation to Brookdale for a WAFS
evening at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at
the College's Warner Student Life Center.
Joining Honey at the speaker's podium that evening
will be Nancy Love's youngest daughter, Allie Love,
and Nancy's biographer, Sarah Byrn Rickman, who
also serves as editor of the WASP News.
"In attending the 2010 Congressional Gold Medal
ceremony last year- as my late sister's representative
- I was disappointed that nothing was said about
Nancy Love and those original 28 who started it all,
nor was there anything about the WAFS in the Fly
Girls Exhibit at WIMSA. 1 could find no photo of
Nancy Love, and yet she was the founder of the first
group of women to fly for the Army - the WAFS,"
Honey says.
The college will have on display many vintage
photos of Dorothy and others from Honey's personal
collection, as well as photos of "The Originals,"
provided by Kimberly Johnson and the WASP
Archives at Texas Woman's University. The exhibit
may become a permanent part of Brookdale College's
Center for WWII Studies.
A reception will follow the lecture. Honey and Sarah
will sign copies of Sarah's book about the WAFS, The
Originals - in which Dorothy is featured. Sarah will
also have copies of her biography Nancy Love and the
WASP Ferry Pilots ofWW!! available for signing.
"I am indebted to Professor Zigo for his great
interest in World War II history and its stories and for
letting us tell this important story," Honey says.

Thanks again for all you have done.

Radford Crews, son of WAFS Nancy Batson Crews

Summer 2011

13

***

Memorial Day

By Chig Lewis, son of Dot Swain Lewis, 44-5


Memorial Day is about memory. And, as we know, if we honestly
reflect, memory is not always very accurate or even consistent.
Memorial Day reverberates with this ambiguity, even in its origins,
and in the celebrations and observances throughout this nation.
My favorite explanation of the origin of Memorial Day is the Civil
War story in which a group of Southern women, on a traditional
Decoration Day, after some initial discomfiture, chose to decorate the
graves of Union soldiers as well as their own fallen, recognizing all
the graves that filled that quiet cemetery. This is consistent with what
I know of Southern women, most prominent in my memories, my
mother, and the proud Southern military traditions that would have
required an act of remembrance for fallen comrades, yet perhaps forget
the consequences to the other side, until a mother, sister, daughter,
girlfriend or wife would recognize and point out the obvious. Southern
men, in particular, have always needed Southern women to get it right.
And I suspect Yankee men could benefit as well.
I chose this explanation/memory over the other popular origin
stories: General Logan's General Order, or LBJ's proclamation,
because it represents what Memorial Day later changed to be, a day
in which all the graves, all wars, all sides" are decorated. We decorate
the graves of those that have served and perished. And it matters not
where or how they served or for what cause. What matters is Service,
and Loss, and, for those of us who remain, to Remember.
Every memory is personal - the vision projected in our human
mind to help each of us cope with our current choices and decisionmaking, to avoid the mistakes our predecessors have made or to mimic
the heroic positive conduct, which that memory approves.
I wince when I hear the expression "Fallen Heroes." For me, Death
or Loss is not, in itself, heroic, it is simply Loss or Death. Death
may result from a foolish choice, a lack of experience or training, an
impossible coincidence, an act of ugly cowardice, or an act of selfless
bravery. Talking to those that served and survived, I have often heard
them credit their survival either to their fortunate extensive training,
or to the intercession of incredible good luck or, for some, to the hand
of God. For me, I don't lay the rap on some sentient power up there
deciding which stupid fool should be excused the consequences of
complete arrogance, and some other super skilled brave soul should
be rewarded by having their physical body ripped apart and mangled.
If God exists, which I chose to believe, he or she has long since said
"hands off' or "you've got the controls" and lets the consequences
play themselves out with all the physical, biological, emotional,
historical, statistical, and intellectual forces that our presence on this
planet creates.
Since death and loss is universal to all - hero, coward, enemy,
friend, smart, stupid - our only rational goal is to to lessen its useless
frequency. This is the purpose of Memory - to Remember what is
important, and, in that clear frame of mind, to Serve.
r,y,a<f.o

14

***

My mother does not remember the details of her


own service sometimes. .. I gently remind her, correct
some false memory, or start off a chain of remembrance
which brings pride or laughter. And we travel to such
places as Sweetwater, Texas, where she instructed
and trained, played her guitar, and visited briefly back
in the 1940's with her brother near the hangar that
now houses the WASP National Museum, as he flew
through in his P-40, headed for the Pacific (. .. if that's
exactly how it happened). And we meet up with her old
comrades of the sky, and a local elderly gentleman tells
how he heard the WASP buzzing his father's haystack,
and fellow WASP Lillian confesses that somehow the
lower parts of her plane (was it an AT-6 or a BT-13?)
seemed to end up stained with a lot of green chlorophyll
following some of her training flights through that part
of west Texas, way back then.
I think of my brothers, Andy, Charles, John ... my
sisters, Barb, Nancy, Kit ... so many others, KOW
not KOW (Kids of WASP!). I think of the smiles and
laughter, and yes, the memory loss of their mothers,
so many of whom I have met over the years, almost
as much as I think of the confident skill of my mother
barrelling fearlessly down a road in Arizona in her
'51 Chevy convertible, her quiet directions to me in
the cockpit of a small airplane many years ago, and
the picture of her goggled joy in the BreeZ ultralight
over Glenbury Texas, her challenging discussion in
the Modern History class she taught 48 years ago, and
now, some confusion as to details, people and facts that
once were so clear and immediate. I also remember my
father who served, traveling and analyzing bombing
photos with the 8th Army, in England, in North Africa,
Sicily, and Italy, but about which he talked so little his choice not to remember - to me, at least ... more
Loss, of a different but also painful, clearly troubled
sort.
It is inevitable on Memorial Day that each family reexperiences Loss - Loss that is new and progressive,
or losses that are old memories, mellowed and perhaps
imaginary, or quietly deteriorated and fading, each
memory personal, as is each loss. Memory loss is a
personal double whammy, an emptiness that hurts
without form, that troubles and frustrates with a short
exhaled breath, a blank darkness that alarms by what
one knows is missing, a fierce, angry premonition
without shape, color or name. We feel the loss even
as the memory disappears. And because of this
burgeoning reality, each family remembrance becomes
more important, heavier, on Memorial Day.

Continued next page

Summer 2011

Loss of memory poses direct


immediate dangers that each of us must
mitigate - sons, daughters, mothers
and fathers. This Loss is largely limited
to each family, but, in my case, we're
doing great and having a wonderful
time together, remembering, reliving
her service as a WASP, as a teacher, as
an artist. But the Loss will inevitably
become more severe, as it already has
for so many of my dear friends, brothers
and sisters, each of whom I determinedly
remember this Memorial Day.
Last year some criticized our President
for not staying in Washington to lay a
wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and
to parade for our national media, as if
not doing so was an affront to our grand
American military honor and our nation.
For me, it was wise and appropriate
that he chose to go to a local cemetery
near his family home, reminding us that

Memorial Day is about each family, and


what we share with every other family
who has lost, is losing, or will lose a
loved one to Service ....
To remember
each family, in each city, in each country,
across this world, each gathering that
honors Service, and feels the pain of
Loss, Yankee, Rebel, white, yellow or
brown, rich or poor, enemy or friend .
... To remember the piercing pain that
should dedicate each of us to lessening
that loss ....
To remember the impact
of Education,
Compassion,
Hard
Work, Creativity, Imagination, Skill,
Determination, the factors which directly
impact, and either lessen, or increase the
probability of Loss of those who choose
to Serve, and ironically also how memory
loss progresses.
Memorial Day should refresh our
collective memory of the pain suffered
when our leaders fail collectively,

suffered not just by our nation, not just


our military, but by those who we must
sometimes call our enemy. We should
remember that they suffer as much as we,
and that if we do not feel their suffering,
we are likely doomed to future Loss.
And that, knowing and remembering
that pain, we will tend naturally to work,
intelligently, diligently, compassionately,
strongly and effectively, to create a
better, more peaceful world.
This broader remembrance is the
symbolic decoration that we should place
on the graves of those who have served,
heroes or not, this Memorial Day and
each day thereafter, honoring the past
by working for Peace, not the Peace of
the grave, but a Peace that allows our
children to walk in old cemeteries, where
ancient losses are remembered, and new
graves reserved only for those who have
lived a full and happy remembered life.
God Bless Us All!

WASP Last Flight


NAME OF WASP

CLASS

DECEASED

43-4

11-8-20 I0

Velta Snyder Haney Benn

44-W-7

12-1-2010

Ruth Humphreys Brown

43-8

1-6-2011

44-I-T

1-14-2011

Katherine "Ruth" Kupferberg Kornblum

43-6

1-16-2011

Marguerite "Ty" Hughes Killen

44-8

1-17-201 I

Anna Hopkins White

44-1

1-29-2011

Mildred House Ferree

44-9

2-1-2011

Martha McKenzie Carpenter

44-5

2-6-2011

Dolores M. Meurer Reed

44-1

2-20-2011

Violet Thurn Cowden

43-4

4-10-2011

Note to Class Secretaries:

Lois Nash

43-8

4-24-2011

Please notifY Kimberly Johnson

Justine Fletcher Woods

44-8

5-26-2011

Emma Coulter Ware

43-3

5-29-2011

44-4-T

6-7-2011

43-2

6-16-201 I

Marcella Fatjo Tucker

Mary Jane White La Plante

Dottie Dormandy-Hoey
Betty Whitlow Smith
Summer 2011

at TWU, 940-898-3743,
or kjolmson27@mail.twu.edu,
when you learn of
a classmate's death.

15

Following In Our Footsteps


Submitted by Bee Haydu, 44-7
Notice the similarity in the two photos? Four women
pilots, carrying their parachute bags, striding away from a
large airplane. The difference in the photos?
Sixty-one years!!!
Photo #1 was taken at Lockbourne Army Air Field outside
Columbus, Ohio, in late 1943. It shows four WASP B-17
pilots, FRANCES GREEN (43-5), MARGARET KIRCHNER,
ANN WALDNER and BLANCHE OSBORN (ALL 43-6) walking
away from the B-17 known as Pistol Packin' Mama.
Photo #2 was taken in May, 2004: SMsgt Kim Burton
Frey snapped a photo of Capt. Vickie Quinn, Capt. Barb
Bartch, Maj. Stefanie Perkowski, and Lt. Heather Arehart
(Burris). The four, at that time, were pilots with the 121st
Air Refueling Wing (Ohio National Guard) and the 166th
Air Refueling Squadron. Notice how they all are stepping
forward with their right feet and carrying their bags in the
same hands as the WASP - three using the right hand and
the farthest to the right of the photo using her left.
Msgt. Don "Pop" Porter coordinated the photo, and it was
taken in front of a KCI35R at the same airport, except that
the facility is now known as Rickenbacker lAP.
Today, seven years later: Lt. Col. Quinn is now an Air
Force Reservist and Government Flight Representative with
the Defense Contract Management Agency. Major Bartch is
still affiliated with the 121stAir Refueling Wing.
Lt. Col. Perkowski, a graduate of the Air Force Academy,
is currently in two forward-deployed geographic combatant
commands: U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa
Command, both located in Stuttgart, Germany. As an Air
Force Reserve Officer, she supports the Headquarters

U.S. European Command Plans and Operations Center and as


a government civilian, supports the Headquarters U.S. Africa
Command Outreach Directorate.
Major Burris is a Reservist at Scott AFB in the Flight Planning
Shop. She builds and maintains flight plans for all Air Mobility
Assets. She is the mother of 3 young boys.
Highly recognizable, photo #1 may well be the most famous
WASP WWII photo around. All four of the women have now
taken their final flights - the most recent, Blanche Osborn Bross,
in 2008. They are four of the seventeen from the WASP Flight
Training Facility at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, who were
sent to Lockbourne in the fall of 1943 for B-17 training. Thirteen,
including all four of these ladies, graduated.
Four WASP B-17 pilots survive: DAWN SEYMOUR and JULIE
(43-5) and VIRGINIA WATERER (43-6) from the
training school and BARBARA JEAN "B.J." ERICKSON LONDON,
one of the original WAFS, who was the third woman to fly a B-17.
She had two orientation flights on October 8 and 9, 1943, and
checked out on the Fortress on April 9, 1944.
LEDBETTER

The first two women to fly the B-17 were NANCY LOVE,
executive for WASP in the Ferrying Division and the founder of
the WAFS, and BETTY GILLIES, Nancy's second-in-command
and the leader of the WASP squadron stationed with the 2nd
Ferrying Group, New Castle Army Air Base, Wilmington
Delaware. Nancy, followed by Betty, was signed off to fly the
B-17 on August 16, 1943. Already in Goose Bay, Labrador, Sept.
5, 1943, they were ferrying a B-17 to England when General
Arnold cancelled their flight.

c:

.2
-0

'0
u
Q.

en
~
::::l'

::
I>Ul

:;o
(J

'0

..c:
Q.

Capt. Vickie Quinn, Capt. Barb Bartch, Maj. Stefanie


WASP pilots Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner,

Ann

Waldner and Blanche Osborn walking away from a B-17.

Summer 2011

Perkowski,

and Lt. Heather Arehart (Burris) walking

away from a KC135R.

37

3 WASP Tour AAF WWII Air War Sites in England


By Bee Haydu, 44-7 and Elaine Harmon, 44-9
Three WASP are JUST back from England - a
trip they made May 5 to 11 through THE GREATEST
GENERATION FOUNDATION. SHIRLEY KRUSE
(44-6), BEE HAYDU (44-7) AND ELAINE HARMON

(44-9)

were the three lucky gals.


There were only nine of them on the bus. The others
were three men who flew out of bases in England in
WWII - Mike Quering, Joseph W. Clarke and Homer
Goodman - and the hosts from the foundation,
President Timothy Davis, Alicia Harms, Vice President
of Communication and Jon Bunyak, Chief Financial
Officer.
Bee writes: From London our first stop was Duxford
Air Museum, Cambridgeshire County, about one hour
north of London and 10 miles south of Cambridge. Our
first day ended at Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket,
Suffolk. Accommodations and food the best!
The next day we visited Lavenham Air Base - the
site of where the air base had been during the war. This
is where StaffSgt. Mike Quering had been stationed in
WWII. He was an Armorer Gunner in B-17 Bombers
with the 8th Air Force. The runways and most of the
buildings were no longer there having been given back
to the farmers, but we could make out most of the
outline. We learned from Mike what it was like some
67 years ago.
Then to Mendlesham Airfield, Stowmarket, Suffolk,
UK, also north of London. This was where Major
Joseph Clark had been stationed. He was a B-17 pilot,
having completed 31 missions. Again, the location had
been returned to the farmers and yet we could make
out where the runways had been, especially since some
portions of runway remained. Joe could still hear the
engines of the B-l7s taking off.
Next
was
Bassingbourn,
Cambridgeshire
County, Thurleigh Airfield, where Staff Sgt. Homer
Goodman, ball turret gunner on B-l7s had been
stationed. His first mission was on D-Day June 6,
1944. On his 30th mission he was shot down in enemy
territory. He spent 6 weeks hiding behind enemy
lines. He came back with the advancing infantry.
Although the field had been returned to the farmers,
a tower was preserved in which a museum was
established. From the tower we could see the runway
layouts.
Most memorable and touching was to listen to these
three veterans re-live their life of so many years ago.
We listened to their individual experiences, so vivid we
could imagine being there. Now amongst the beautiful
fields of yellow flowers and greenery it seemed almost

38

In England: Bee Haydu (left), Elaine Harmon and Shirley Kruse


(4th and 5th) and their traveling companions

with the tour bus.

impossible this could have happened. Yet, on each field we visited we


saw some of the remains of bomb shelters, Quonset huts, buildings,
bomb storage pits, etc.
May 9th we made our way to London and the Kensington, another
first class hotel. Our leader and driver, Timothy Davis, has got to be the
best driver in the world. He could squeeze through impossible places.
Anyone who has visited London in particular would appreciate his
driving expertise.
We visited Churchill War Rooms and museum in the original
underground location. Going beneath the ground and seeing how they
lived and conducted the war during those years was an eerie experience.
The Imperial War Museum is a must, covering many wars and so
complete it would really take about 4 days to see everything.
The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial was another
beautiful and interesting place. Mike Quering and Bee Haydu were
privileged to do the flag lowering and folding at the end of the day.
Of course, we also saw the many important sites in London
and throughout England, enjoyed many pubs - great eating (and
drinking), places where so many gather.
I encourage anyone desiring to take a trip to the many sites offered
by The Greatest Generations Foundation to visit their website www.
tggf.us. There you will find an application form you can submit.
Elaine Harmon adds: We had a fabulous time. There were only 9
people on the trip - 3 tour guides, 3 Americans who flew from bases
in England and the 3 of us. As a small group, we had time to talk more
about our wartime experiences and get to know each other better.
We hoped to meet up with WASP Friend Wendy Cooper - currently
in England - but it didn't work out in spite of planning. There just
wasn't enough time for her to get to London before we had to leave. Too
bad. We tried.

Summer 2011