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LTC Betty Jane Williams

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LTC Betty Jane Williams

  • Birth 2 Apr 1919 Kingston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 8 Dec 2008 Tarzana, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot 54, Grave 2972
  • Memorial ID 32117092

Aviation Pioneer. She was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots ("WASPs"), female aviators who flew non-combat missions in World War II. Raised in rural Pennsylvania she had a lifelong desire to fly, working as a stewardness for Canadian Colonial Airlines and earning her pilot's license just before Pearl Harbor, the only woman in a class of 50 men. She later said that while at that time "Girls just didn't do those kinds of things", the war "changed everything". She was accepted into the WASPs, completed training in Sweetwater, Texas, and was a test pilot at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, until the program was disbanded in December of 1944. The ladies were turned out without Veteran's benefits and Miss Williams long helped fight against this injustice, finally achieving success in 1977. After the war she was a commercial pilot and instructor, hosted the first network television aviation show for CBS from New York in 1946, and worked making films and developing instructional systems for Lockheed. Recalled to active duty in 1952, she made training films and eventually retired after 28 years service in the Air Force Reserve, attached to the public affairs office of the Secretary of the Air Force. She remained active in the WASP organization and shortly before her death founded an aerospace and avaiation library for a California high school. In March 2010 the WASPs both living and deceased were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

  • Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 11 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32117092
  • grainne
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Betty Jane Williams (2 Apr 1919–8 Dec 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32117092, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Bob Hufford (contributor 46784943) .