Thursday, August 15, 2019

Death of WASP Dorothy Olsen-- Part 5: "Despite the Fact That A Woman Once Flew It"


In 1945, just weeks after the end of the war in Europe, she married Harold Olsen and after raising their children, she ran antique shops near her University Place home, where she had lived since the 1960s.  Her husband died in 2006.

There are 37 living WASPs today, according to Kimberly Johnson, the archivist and curator of the WASP archive at Texas Woman's University in Denton.

They and their late colleagues were 'vitally important" -- not only to the war effort but "also for the impact they had on the experiences of women in future aviation" and other careers in engineering and science.

Sometimes before sending a plane off to combat,, WASPs would leave a note for its next pilot, occasionally sealing the missive with a red-lipsticked kiss.  In 1945, Dorothy Olsen received a letter sent from Italy by the pilot of a P-38 she had ferried.

It read:  "I thought I'd write a few lines," the lieutenant wrote, "to  let you know that despite the fact that a woman once flew it, the ship performs perfectly and is apparently without flaws of any kind."

--GreGen

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