Saturday, June 17, 2017

Adeline Wolak Ellison, 43-W-6 | June 10, 2017

“I got checked out as pilot in the C-47 and co-piloted in the B-17, B-25 and got my instrument rating flying a B-24 from California to Florida.  My instructor told me that I flew better than 95 percent of the male pilots he checked out.”   Adeline Ellison, WASP1

WASP Adeline Wolak Ellison took her final flight on June 10, 2017. 

She was born September 26, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois to Polish parents Walter and Anna Wolak.  Addie's father was a civilian pilot and urged his young daughter to take flying lessons.  After only one lesson, she was hooked.  Shortly after earning her license, she and her father joined the Civil Air Patrol and Addie began cross country flying. 

When America joined the Allies in World War II,  Addie saw an ad in the paper seeking women pilots for a  experimental flying program. She applied, passed the tests, an army physical and a personal interview,  and was accepted into the Women Airforce Service Pilots training program.  

In the spring of 1943, Addie, along with 123 other young women pilots from across the country, paid her way to Sweetwater, Texas and arrived at Avenger Field as a member of training class 43-W-6.  Almost seven months later, on October 4, 1943,  Addie and 83 of her classmates graduated from the Army Air Forces flight training program and earned their silver WASP wings.   She later wrote that her mom and dad borrowed on their insurance to make the long train trip to Sweetwater, Texas for the ceremony.  

Following graduation, Addie’s Army orders sent her to Long Beach, California, to fly with the 6th Ferrying Group.  From Long Beach, she delivered aircraft such as the B-17, B-25, B24, and C-47 from factories to bases in the U.S.A.   

While at Long Beach, Addie met her future husband, Robert Ellison who was an Army Air Force pilot. They were married June 24th 1944 and since the WASP were being deactivated, she resigned to go with Robert to Colorado to begin their new life.

Congressional Gold Medal ceremony, 2010
After the war the young couple traveled around the country as their Air Force family grew to include daughter, Andrea and son, Bobby.   Eventually, they settled in San Carlos, Ca.

She joined the Air Force Reserves but was discharged when they found out she had children. In the 1970's the WASP were given Veteran status and in 2010 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow. Addie attended the ceremony in D.C. with her family. It was one of the highlights of her life.

In 2012, a Cessna 172 named "ADELINE," was unveiled by owner Ralph Sauceda. It was a special honor given to Addie at the Commemorative Air Force, Modesto, California Airport.  

Addie loved life, family and friends. She was a homemaker, a secretary, opened a Latin Dance Studio and ran for City Clerk of San Carlos, Ca. But most of all she was a great wife, mother and grandmother. In 1983, Addie and Bob moved to Modesto to be close to their grandchildren.

For the next few years, the couple continued their love of adventure by traveling all over the world.  Robert passed away after their 57th year of marriage.  Addie is survived by her daughter Andrea Holmquist (Thom), granddaughters Alyssa Bienvenu (Rich) and Amanda Holmquist and great grandson Lucien Bienvenu. She was preceded in death by her son Bobby, and brother Ed Wolak.

Adeline Wolak Ellison will be interred at San Joaquin National Cemetery next to her husband. She requested this for their grave stone:"Two Hot Pilots Together at Last.”

Franklin & Downs Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Ellison Family. A Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 12:00 – 3:00pm at Franklin & Downs Funeral Home, 1050 McHenry Ave. in Modesto. Burial will follow on June 28, 2017 at 2:00pm at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA. A Celebration of Adeline's Life will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 11:30am at Franklin & Downs Funeral Home.

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Respectfully posted by Wings Across America from the official obituary, with additional WASP information and  photo included.

Our prayers for Addie's family, her friends, and everyone who was touched by this gentle lady pilot.  

1. Quote from WASP Betty Turner's "Out of the Blue and Into History," p. 209.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Margaret E. 'Marge' Neyman Martin, 44-7 | January 29, 2017





"When I heard about the WASP program, I decided I wanted to learn to fly, which meant cashing in my bonds and taking leave from work." 
                          Marge Neyman Martin, 44-7 






Margaret E. “Marge” Martin, long-time resident of Oak Harbor, passed away January 29, 2017.  She was 95. 

Marge was born September 21, 1921, in Saratoga, WA. to George and Elva Neyman.   She graduated from Sequim High School at age 16 in 1938.  After graduating business college in Tacoma, Washington, she began working as a secretary for Standard Oil Company.  

Learning of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) training program, she earned her private  pilot license in Spokane and applied to the program.  After passing the required tests and personal interview, Marge was accepted as a member of class 44-7, paying her way to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.  Of the 98 women who entered training with Marge, she was one of only 59 who graduated, September 8, 1944. 

She earned her silver WASP wings and received her Army orders, sending her to Douglas Army Air Field, Douglas, Arizona.  While at Douglas, WASP flew the BT-14, AT-8, UC-78, AT-9, AT-17 and B-25.  Marge's flying assignments included administrative, engineering and utility flights.

Following the deactivation of the WASP on December 20, 1944, Marge took a job in San Francisco where she met and married Paull Smyth.  They moved to Whidbey Island in 1951 where she later began her career at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.   The young couple started a family, making their home in Oak Harbor and filling it with four children and beautiful memories.  Marge later wrote:   "Our home on the water has nine acres with geese, chickens, and peacocks.  The Cascade Range fills our window with views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker, which are pure white in winter."

She worked at the Naval Air Station for 22 years, becoming secretary to the Commanding Officer before retiring.  

After Paull’s passing, Marge married C.J. “Tiny” Martin who predeceased her.  She is survived by her four children, Fred (Anita) Smyth, Oak Harbor; Gretchen Smyth, Seattle; Mitsi Vondrachek, Newberg, OR; and Paula (Dave) Bondo, Mill Creek, WA; as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Nature Conservancy or the Sierra Club.

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Respectfully posted with permission from her family.  Additional information included from Marge's entry p. 458, "Out of the Blue and Into History" by WASP Betty Turner.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Kathryn Lynn Boyd Miles, 44-5 | January 24, 2017



“I became interested in flying when my father dug deep for the cost of a flight in a small plane that landed outside of Whitesboro, Texas.”   Kathryn Miles, 44-5

    Katheryn Lynn Boyd Miles was born in Gunter Texas, 50 miles north of Dallas, on January 9, 1921.   Her parents, Elizabeth and Arthur Edgar Boyd, were pioneer educators,  instilling in their young daughter the qualities of honesty, Christianity and the love of adventure.  

    Lynn graduated from Decatur Baptist College in 1939.  Two years later, she earned her pilot’s license, completing the CPT (Civilian Pilot Training) program  in her senior year at North Texas Teachers college, skipping meals to save money for her flying time. 

    Her love of adventure took her to Washington DC to work for the FBI and then to Little Rock Arkansas as an air traffic controller and finally as a hostess for Braniff in Dallas.    When Lynn heard the call for women to train as military pilots under General Hap Arnold and Jacqueline Cochran, she was working as a CAA air traffic control operator.  As a Civil Aeronautics Authority employee, she was ineligible to apply for the WASP until she had been separated from the program for a year. 

    She worked a year and her dream finally came true.   She was interviewed for the Army Air Force flight training program, passed the tests and was accepted as a member of class 44-5.  After completing seven months of training at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, she graduated in June 1944.   Her Army orders sent her to Foster Field, Victoria Texas.  While stationed there, she flew the AT-6 four hours a day towing a sleeve target for gunnery practice.  She also served as an instrument instructor for refresher courses for instructors from other fields.  Other flying duties included instructing cadets from the Mexican, Cuban and Chinese Air Forces and flying the mail to Matagorda Island off the coast of Texas.   While at Foster Field, she checked out on the P-40 and flew as co-pilot in the B-18.  It was while she was ferrying aircraft out of Saxton, Missouri that she got the devastating news that her beloved WASP were being disbanded.

    After WASP deactivation, Lynn trained with the CAA as Aircraft Communicator at Boeing Field, Seattle and was then sent to Anchorage, Alaska.  While in Anchorage,  she met and married Kent Tillinghast, also a pilot for the Civilian Aeronautics Administration and bush pilot in his own right.   Three of their four children were born in Anchorage before they relocated to Eugene, OR where Lynn received her Masters of Education at the University of Oregon.

    Lynn became a teacher in the Bethel School District, teaching 4th grade, then junior high.  Eventually, Lynn became a counselor for the middle school and pioneered the reading program.  She established the local Civil Air Patrol for young cadets and forged her own Outdoor Program, leading high school students in canoeing, hiking and climbing adventures until her retirement.  In 1964, a year after losing her husband in a car accident, Lynn took her children to New Zealand, and taught school in Napier before returning to the US a year later. 

    In the 1970’s, Lynn was active in the movement to qualify WASPs as veterans.  She retired from teaching in 1983.  With her second husband Pat, Lynn trekked the outdoors and the local mountains, taking glacier training and wilderness survival classes. She canoed all over the United States and Canada and took her last canoe trip at the age of 75.   

   
    In March 2010, Lynn and her fellow WASP were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their pioneering service during World War II.  Lynn helped dedicate a WASP display at the Oregon Air And Space Museum at Mahlon Airport in Eugene, Oregon.  She also addressed classes at the University of Oregon for several years in a History of Aviation class.  

    Lynn's greatest love and pleasure was the joy of friends and family.  She is survived by her sons Kent and David and daughters Beth and Anne; seven grandchildren and six great grand children.  

    Kathryn Lynn Boyd Miles passed away on January 24, 2017.
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Respectfully posted with permission.   Additional information taken from Lynn Miles own words as published in “Out of the Blue and Into History” by WASP Betty Turner.  

God bless all of those whose lives were forever changed by this pioneering WASP.  




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Muriel Virginia Kiester Martin, 44-W-5 | November 4, 2016


"Love and family closeness and respect can never be outdone by anything else.  It's the lynchpin....holds everything together."   

           WASP Muriel Virginia Kiester Martin, 44-W-5

Early morning, on November 4, 2016, Muriel Kiester Martin made her final ascent. Imagine her soaring, happy, and free, looking down upon her beloved family. Born in La Feria, Texas on February 24, 1922, she was 94 years old, and had lived a full and purposeful life.

Her parents, Carl and Bertha Kiester, were among the early settlers of La Feria and pioneers in the citrus business. Muriel grew up with her older sister “Dee” and younger brother David.

Muriel was an enthusiastic equestrian and horse lover all her life. She explored the valley on her first horse, Morocco, and passed on her enthusiasm and skills to friends and family for as long as she was able. It was in pursuit of a riding school, that she introduced her family to San Miguel de Allende in the early sixties. Later, she even managed to enlist the Mexican cavalry, in Reynosa, to teach riding to her children and some of their friends.

For many years, Muriel ran and maintained the citrus groves her father had started. She was an accomplished nursery woman, and took pride in every single orange and grapefruit in her orchards. She always added a few sprigs of bougainvillea and fresh rosemary to each box of gift fruit that she would personally pack.

Muriel was not one to sit down and take it easy, and always had a project going. As a youngster, she carved delicate little 3 dimensional wooden horses. Later in life, she took up chip carving, a German style of pattern carving. Her family and many of her friends have intricately carved wooden chests that Muriel loving made for them. But her main project was the beautiful environment she created around her home. Though she enjoyed adventures to Mexico, Muriel was a homebody. That was her soul place. She was interested in every palm tree, hibiscus, rose bush and bougainvillea on the property. She kept the lake in front of the house clear and fresh. And she loved sharing it. For many years she ran a summer camp for young children- Camp Thunderbird. Kids had a blast learning to swim, ride, make all sorts of cool crafts, and participate in other camp activities. Camp Thunderbird was a source of great pride to Muriel, and many kids around the valley benefitted from her leadership and guidance.


Muriel was a patriot. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, she was compelled to respond. She learned about the newly created Women AirForce Service Pilots (WASP). The next year, while a junior at the University of Texas, she rode her bike out to the airport to take flying lessons so she could apply to enter WASP training. 

Muriel entered the Army Air Forces flight-training program at Avenger Field in Sweetwater in December 1943. She was one of 1,830 who were accepted into the program, out of 25,000 who applied. It was a grueling program. 1,074 earned their wings. After graduation, she was stationed at Eagle Pass Army Air Base, an advanced gunnery school, where she flew AT-6 tow target missions for ground and aerial gunnery practice, training aviation cadets for combat, until the WASP program was deactivated. In 2009, the WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Muriel accepted the award in Washington DC, surrounded by her proud family and lifelong friends.

While in the service, Muriel met Archie, an Army Air Force Flight Surgeon from Virginia. They married in 1944 and settled in La Feria, where they raised a family. They shared a love for flying, sailing and their four children. Archie pursued his career as a radiologist in Harlingen. They were devoted patents, engaged in providing every opportunity possible for their children.

Known as “Kies” by her grandchildren and great grandchildren, she was a fun, active, involved grandmother. She often impressed them with her ping-pong, riding, tennis, archery, and canoeing skills. And, of course, they all loved her famous pancakes, crackerjack and homemade chocolate sauce.

Muriel is survived by her four children: Anne, Bunnie, Ginny and Graham; her grandchildren, Martin, David, Charlotte, Archie, Carl, Beaman and Bella; and her great-grandchildren, Alston, Watson, Garrett and Tucker.

Muriel was a unique individual; very strong but equally gentle. Never did any of us doubt that she loved us with all her heart. And we loved her back. She enriched the lives of many people throughout her life.

We can't imagine a better mother, grandmother, woman, and role model.
RIP Muriel Kiester Martin.

A special appreciation is extended to her sister in law and friend, Judy Kiester, and her caregivers Graciela and Jose Castillo.

Memorial donations may be made to the La Feria Public Library (which Muriel helped establish)
400 South Main Street

La Feria, TX 78559

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Posted as written from the family of Murial Martin. 
Quote from the Wings Across America interview.

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Personal note.

Wings Across America spent an unforgettable day with Murial on her beautiful oasis in the middle of south Texas, just about 10 miles from the border with Mexico.  Soft spoken, gentle, and filled with a quiet joy, she was delightful.  Ask her about her family, her horses, the ranch or flying, and the sparkle in her eyes would grow brighter and brighter.  I can still remember her kindness and her warm, easy laugh.  Lovely, remarkable lady.  Our prayers for her family and for all of those who were touched by this remarkable, fiercly loving spirit.   Our hearts are grateful for having known her.  God bless you all.


More on Murial -- Article on the Congressional Gold Medal

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Janet Reno, WASP Champion | November 7, 2016

"I was 7 years old when the WASP were disbanded and my aunt Winnie came home from the war. And shortly thereafter, some other WASP came to Miami and they became the part and parcel of our lives...They were extraordinary."
         Janet Reno,WASP Champion and niece of WASP Winnie Wood, 43-7

The honorable Janet Reno, former Attorney General of the United States of America, passed away on November 7, 2016, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.   

Our gratitude to God for a WASP Champion such as this... Janet Reno -- where honor met integrity in an uncompromising and inspirational way.  Where kindness, compassion and humility overshadowed circumstances and challenges.  She always did her very best. She always told the truth. The buck always stopped with her. The WASP are proud of her, no matter what her political affiliation.


In 1993, Janet Reno  came to Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas.  She came, despite political pressure and controversy, to celebrate the unveiling of a WASP statue at the field where her Aunt Winnie had trained.  A statue created by her friend, WASP Dot Lewis.


JANET RENO'S SPEECH TO THE WASP 
AT THE UNVEILING OF DOT LEWIS'S WASP STATUE, 1993


People asked me today out there as the statue was unveiled "What do the WASP mean to you?"   Let me tell you.

I was 7 years old when the WASP were disbanded and my aunt Winnie came home from the war. And shortly thereafter, some other WASP came to Miami and they became the part and parcel of our lives. We owned them. I owned Dot Swain, Bobby owned Doris G, Margie and Maggie had a fight between Leela Lowder and Carol Bailey and I think Marty got Leela. and Maggie got Caro. But they were extraordinary.

I can still see Aunt Winnie coming home in the blue uniform. She was a heroine to me. And then Dot came down and she was Miss Ophelia Jones in the air show. She put a funny hat and old lady stocking shoes and she went out and flew this plane like she learned to fly in this plane. And Kaddy Landry gave me the first plane ride I ever had. And Doris G and Leela. Landry told me about Texas and I never understood what Texas was all about and I still didn't understand particularly after listening to Doris G why Texas was so important. And Kaddy bossed us around, Mildred Caldwell was wonderful to us. And they were extraordinary.

Because what they did was...I had the impression when I talked to one of them that I wasn't going to do anything bad, I wasn't going do anything disrespectful. And it was not so much that I was going to get punished if I did except maybe by Kaddy Landry and Doris G would tell me what she thought of me. But more important I didn't want to disappoint them.

And then, I read the book, and then I heard the stories all over again. And I thought, I can do that. I can do anything I really want to do as long as its' the right thing to do and I put my mind to it. Because those ladies went and flew planes and for as long as I live. Sometimes in these last two months, as I've dealt with some of the difficult issues, I think of what it was like flying over the donner pass...and she couldn't establish radio contact with Reno and the left engine was beginning to sound rough...and some how or another...the story continues, you can do anything you want to if it's the right thing to do and you put your mind to it.

But then I met other people along the way. Suds came to town. Suds looked at me like there's one of those young Reno's my goodness...she like the others -- twinkled -- and even though Caddie Landry said she didn't want anything to do with children she didn't know why anybody had children...they all seemed to love us, Suds included.

Then I met my own WASP. Separate and independent from Aunt Winnie's WASPs as I called them. I went to high school and one of my teacher's in high school, Felicia West was a WASP and she taught me ever so much about how to play fair, how to be a good sport, how to loose, and how to pick yourself up and win again and do it the right way.
And then I came out to California and Suds and Mary Nelson and Dot Swain and so many others made me feel welcome. That summer and I began to see what the WASP were doing. They were going beyond the dedication to the nation. They were becoming great artists, they were doing things in their community, they were becoming teachers, they were making a difference, they were raising families. I think that's the first summer I saw Chig beginning to grow up instead of just a little baby. 


Then I went to Cornell and I met another WASP all on my own, only it was with the help of another aunt and that's when I met Dawn Seymour and thought, another heroine. And to those of you who are between the ages of 25 and 30 let me tell you that a seven year old child, about 48 years ago, was touched again and again and again by women 25 to 30...who have made a profound and distinguished difference in my life.


    But they keep coming back. They never leave. You go out to see your Aunt Winnie and you see Doris G and it's like Doris G never changed and she sounds exactly the same, she's as bossy as ever, she's opinionated as ever, and she still loves Texas even if she lives in California. And Dot Swain doesn't look a day older, and she can still play the guitar and do as she did as she did around the campfires 48 years ago, she can still sing 'Those Brown Eyes".

These ladies have taught me ever so much. They have given me strength and understanding. They have reached out and touched me as a child, as a teenager, as a college student, as a young woman, as somebody being mentioned for Attorney General, and in the darkest loneliest days of these last two months, the WASP have been there, every step of the way.

    And what they have taught me...

Think of what these ladies have been thru, us who are younger who think we face so many challenges. These ladies grew up in a depression. When you took a can of tuna fish and shared it between a family of 5 and made it go... and then shared with some more people along the way...and you don't feel sorry for yourself, you remember those times those extraordinary times when people shared. And you went off to war to help defend a nation against one of the worst tyrants in the history of the World and you remember it with pride and vigor and you remember the fun stories along the way and you remember those you lost with pride and honor.


The WASP are not fancy people. You don't go into a WASP house...I haven't been into a WASP house that was that particularly fancy. They just are themselves. They're just real wonderful great honest opinionated people. They went off to serve their country. And think about it...look at our young people today. How many young people to you think would pay their own way to go serve their country and fight for freedom-- the WASP did it . And they serve as an example for all of us, let's go pay our way and fight for freedom.

They taught me as I've said that women can do anything they really want to do if it's the right thing to do . They taught me loyalty. Boy these women can get into fights with each other but they always make up. And they taught me about friendship and family and they have interweaved through my family as if they had become a part of it. But most of all I think the WASP had to fly airplanes. They had to get that plane back on the ground. And if they didn't get it back on the ground, the buck stopped with them. And they had to do the right thing in the air and they've done the right thing on the ground ever since, and they've been accountable for it...and they've had...been a remarkable inspiration for so many of us.

And now I'd like to challenge you all...the fight is not over. In these last few days and even before, you all have taught me that the next 30 years are going to be a wonderful time... 40 years are going to be a wonderful time....I'm going to grow old and have a throughly good time and fight and care and continue to care about America and never give up, cause you all if you can fly all over this country and do everything that you're doing and be as wonderful and as graceful as you are we got a long time to do some more yet.


And I would like you to join me in a challenge. You helped weave the fabric of society around me, my brothers , my sister, you have been a part of our life, our family. But there are an awful lot of children in America who have no family no structure around them. There are babies brought into a world of poverty, of a mother who's not there of a father they've never seen. There are other children with plenty of money in the world who's parents don't give a darn cause they're more interested in material things rather than what's right and what's wonderful in this world. And somehow or another all of America has to join together to reweave the fabric of society around our children who are the future. 

All of us...the WASP, the attorney's general (ETC) everybody who cares about the future of America have got to reach out and let children know that they're accountable. That if they do something wrong there's gonna be a WASP being disappointed. There's gonna be a Doris G hollering at em...there's gonna be a Kaddie Landry speaking sharply to them, and most of all there's gonna be an Aunt Winnie looking at them very disapprovingly. And if you've ever been looked at by an Aunt Winnie very disapprovingly, you know what that can mean. But if you've ever been looked at by an Aunt Winnie or the WASP with all the love and affection that I've been looked at this day and for the last 50 years, you will know what we have to give our children.

And let us join together to remember that the fight is not over and to remember the last two verses from the book of Malachi, "and behold I shall send you the prophet Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord and he shall return the heart of the father to the children and the children's hearts to their fathers lest I come down and smite the earth with a curse. 


God bless you all."

_______________

God bless all of those touched by Janet Reno.  Thank you, Madam Attorney General,  for your service.  Thank you for doing what you thought was best for our country. I am honored to have met you.  May your life continue to be an inspiration for the words honor, integrity, patriotism and justice.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Norma J. "Penny" Hall Halberg, 44-W-6 | May 12, 2016

"I pumped gas, made sandwiches, served beer and soft drinks, and worked on planes.  I got my meals and my room--an old army cot in an old shack; I usually took it outside and slept under the stars.  The 'airport' consisted of a very rough strip in the desert with a couple of rundown hangars. The CAA eventually shut it down until the airstrip was cleared of borders and smoothed into some semblance of a proper runway."  Penny Halberg


Born in Kansas City, MO on April 25, 1923, Norma Penny Hall  grew up in Los Angeles, CA. Just as little boys grew up wanting to be pilots, so did Penny. 

She started flying in early 1943, working a 48 hour week in LA.  Because civilian aircraft were not allowed to fly within 100 miles of the coast, she traveled 'inland'  to to the airport in Blythe, California, to take flying lessons on the weekends.  Eventually, she quit her job and moved to the airport, which was nothing more than a wide spot in the desert. Penny pumped gas, made sandwiches, served beer, and worked on airplanes with her meals and room as part of her pay.   Her hard work paid for one hour of flying time a day.
After earning the required 35 hours and passing the initial interview and tests, Penny, along with 135 other young women pilots, was accepted into the Women’s Flying Training Program as a member of class 44-6.  She arrived at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX in January of 1944, during one of the worst snowstorms in west Texas history.   After completing seven months of Army Air Force flight training, she and 71 classmates, received their silver wings on August 4, 1944.  After graduation, Penny  was assigned to Gardener Field Taft, CA. where she flew BT-13's and PT-17's  as an engineering test pilot. She also flew ferry missions, including an unforgettable trip from California to St. Augustine, FL. with 30 open cockpit Stearmans in early December. 

After the WASPs were disbanded in late December 1944, Penny served as an air controller in Santa Barbara till the war ended, and then flew aircraft from the factories to dealers around the USA. Seeking something different, she found a job in Saudi Arabia as a payroll clerk and worked her way up to being the highest paid female in the corporation. However, she was still paid less than her male peers. Penny met and married a petroleum engineer, with whom she had 3 sons: Brad, Steve, and Scott Houghton. Later assignments took the family to Indonesia and East Pakistan—now Bangladesh.
On moving back to the states, she became a court reporter for the Superior Court, District of Columbia. Upon retirement, she married her husband, Paul Halberg, an ex-Navy Pilot and VP for Magnavox on March 9, 1985. Penny joined Paul in Fort Wayne, IN where she became an enthusiastic fundraiser for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. Penny and Paul moved to Hammock Dunes, Palm Coast, FL in 1994 and were active members of the club until 2004. 
Penny enjoyed water and snow skiing, golf, travelling, was a lifelong bridge enthusiast, and flew over most of the USA with her husband in a high performance plane he built from a kit. She will be remembered for her loving nature and her service for our country.

On May 12, 2016, Norma J. "Penny" Halberg, 93, passed away.  This remarkable, generous, kind, spirited WASP is now flying higher than she's ever flown before. 

Penny is survived by her husband Paul; by her sons: Brad, Steve, and Scott; plus daughters-in-law Barbara, Rose, and Cathy; and 3 grandchildren.
Interment is scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery for Monday, August 1, 2016.
Arrangements are under the careful direction of Lohman Funeral Home Palm Coast.

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We were fortunate to meet Penny at her beautiful home in Palm Coast, Florida in April of 2003.  She made us feel right at home.  She was welcoming, warm and generous.  Her story of determination, love, commitment and patriotism was and still is inspirational.  She gave up the comfort of home to sleep in the back of a run down airport shack, sweeping floors and pumping gas in order to learn how to fly...and her gentle persistence and determination carried her throughout her lifetime.   We were honored to have known her and our prayers are with her husband, Paul, and her sons and families.  Those who knew Penny already know how extraordinary she was.  May God bless you all.



Respectfully posted by Nancy Parrish 
with information from Penny's Wings Across America interview and the original obituary, published in Fort Wayne Newspapers.
Photos added by WAA.