|San Diego Air & Space Museum, American Women of Flight Exhibit|
joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in 1943 after spotting an advert in a flying magazine and went on to become one of the forgotten women who broke through male-dominated barriers to pilot fighter aircraft and to deliver them for service in the front line. She flew almost 20 different RAF aircraft during the war, delivering them to airbases throughout Britain, including the Spitfire. (Source)Isn't she something?
Now as many of you know, I consider the Spitfire to be the most beautiful aircraft to ever take to the skies. That elliptical wing, the graceful lines, the sound of that powerful Merlin engine. A beautiful aircraft to be sure. (Dinna fash ye'selves, we all have our favorites, this one is mine!) Oh yes, the museum in Sandy Eggo does have a Spit, here she is...
And here's that video of Joy Lofthouse when she returned to the skies in the aircraft she helped to win the war in. Yes, you heard that right, her job was of vital importance. She stood tall when freedom called. (Video courtesy of the BBC.)
Why do I always get a little teary eyed when I see someone obviously enjoying themselves in an aircraft?
Something that tends to get lost in the shuffle sometimes in all the discussion about women in the military is that we all have a part to play in this life regardless of one's plumbing. I have served with women, some were outstanding, some were average, some probably should have found another line of work. For the most part the women I served with had every right to be there and were damned good at their jobs.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is a place I need to get back to someday when I can spend more time there. It's got some great displays, the one honoring the ladies of the air is excellent.
I have to admit, I'm a bit prejudiced when it comes to ladies in flight suits, I've known some good ones! Such as The WSO and a couple of her colleagues...
|L'il Debbie, LUSH and Danica|
|An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the Bounty Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron Two (VFA-2), conducts a training flight over the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Southern California (US Navy Photo)|