Local

October 5, 2012

Female WWII pilot visits Nellis Airmen

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Betty Wall Strohfus was all smiles as she received a bird’s eye view onto the Nellis flightline for the first time in 68 years from the air traffic control tower here Sept. 27. She last saw the airfield like this in 1944 from the cockpit of a World War II era aircraft she flew when she was stationed at the then Las Vegas Army Airfield as a Women’s Airforce Service Pilot.

Strohfus, then Wall, joined as a WASP in 1943. As one of five children, she left her home in Minnesota. She was stationed at Las Vegas Army Airfield flying historic World War II-era airframes like the PT-19, BT-13 Valiant, AT-6s Texan, and a variety of other aircraft.

Betty Wall Strohfus, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot, holds a picture of herself when she was a WASP pilot, Sept. 27,2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Strohfus was stationed at Las Vegas Army Air Field from 1943-44, and was one of 1,074 women who became certified WASP pilots during WWII. Las Vegas Army Air Field later was re-designated as Nellis AFB. The female pilots of the WASP freed up male pilots for combat services and duties during the WWII era.

“It’s no longer Las Vegas Army Airfield,” Strohfus said laughingly. “Nellis is beautiful. It’s really been brought up to date. I am just so proud of [military members today]. They are all my heroes.”

Strohfus’ visit to Nellis included a two-day tour and meeting with the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron – Thunderbirds, a stopover at the control tower where she got an over view of the airfield to watch aircraft take off and land, and a visit with Airmen and families at the Club.

“I’m so proud of what they’ve done with this beautiful base. I’m so proud to see all the people who are in the military, and what they’re doing here today.” Strohfus said with a tear running down her face.

Betty Wall Strohfus, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot, speaks with Tech. Sgt. Jake Richmond, U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds”, noncommissioned officer of community relations, during a distinguished visit Sept. 27, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

While at the Club, Strohfus spoke about joining the WASP, the first women in history trained to fly U.S. military aircraft. While there she also answered questions about her life and was presented the Diamondback award. The Diamondback award is an award created in honor of retired Chief Master Sgt. Henry S. Fouts, an aerial gunner and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who completed 35 combat missions over Nazi occupied Germany, to emphasize the accomplishments of Airmen who help keep Fouts’ spirit of innovation alive.

“Everyone’s been so gracious to me, and then I got this beautiful award,” Strohfus said. “I love that award. To think that so few people have been given that. “

Betty Wall Strohfus, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot, and Mike Roberts, Strohfus’ son, wave goodbye to U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds,” pilots during a distinguished visit Sept. 27, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Strohfus visited the Thunderbird Hangar, the Air Traffic Control Tower, and spoke with Airmen about her experiences during her visit.

Strohfus said she felt “nearly 10 feet tall” when meeting with the Thunderbird crewmembers. Many of the Thunderbird team spoke with, posed for pictures and even received autographs from Strohfus.

“I love it at Nellis AFB, I just hope I get to come back some time,” Strohfus said with a laugh.

(See more photos on pp.14-15 of this week’s PDF file)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>