Miller Watson, Florene

One of the original 25 WW II Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, later Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

Price: $30.00

Description:
(1920-2014) Texas-born pilot, by 19 had finished flight school and completed her 1st solo flight. She received her instructor's rating and was teaching men to fly in the War Training Program in Odessa and Lubbock, Texas when WW II began. She turned 21 on Dec. 7, 1941, and volunteered for Army service. The Army sought 50 women with 500 hours of flying time to become aircraft, cargo and troop ferriers, double the standard for men who only needed 250 hours to qualify as Army pilots. Watson was one of only 25 who qualified for the original Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, later known as the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). These women averaged 1,100 hours flying time. In Jan. 1943, she was made Commanding Officer over the WASP stationed at Love Field, Dallas. Watson also was a test pilot, and in 1944 tested radar equipment before its general use in the war. When the war ended, Watson had flown every kind of aircraft used by the Air Corps except for the B-29. Considered civilians by the military, though they held officer status, the women were held to higher qualifying standards than men, and operated under extreme pressure to succeed. Some 1,000 women were trained by the military for service in the Ferrying Division, and 38 were killed. It took 33 years for the WW II women pilots to be recognized, and in Sept. 1992, she went to Washington to receive an award recognizing the Women's Airforce Service Pilots. She was the long-time National Chaplain of the WASP WW II. After the war, she earned an MBA and taught college for 30 years before retiring. Watson was honored with Distinguished Flying Corps membership in the Kritser Aviation and Space Museum, Amarillo, Texas, in 1988. She was inducted into the Ninety-Nines International Forest of Friendship in Kansas for exceptional contributions to aviation in 1995. As WASP chaplain, she was on the program with Attorney General Reno to dedicate a bronze statue representing the WASP placed in the Honor Court of the Air Force Academy in 1997. She attended the 1997 dedication ceremonies for the Women's Military Veterans Memorial in Washington. Watson was a member of the Gathering of Eagles organization of distinguished aviation pioneers in June 2001. She received the Medal of Honor from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 2001. The Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to her. Reagan County, Texas, where she grew up, renamed its airport in her honor and the International Women in Aviation inducted her into its Pioneer Hall of Fame. SP, 10 x 8 slight sepia-tinted reproduction of her WW II-era bust portrait in aviator’s cap and flight jacket (“F. Miller” on jacket label), adds “Women Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron 1942 WW II” under her signature, vertical on her white blouse.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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