Blazing the Trail

Congressional Gold Medal awarded to WASP aviators, including Betty Greene.

Betty Greene was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II but she never considered it it one of  her most important achievements. As a WASP , Greene and 1,100 other women flew non-combat missions that could be hazardous.

Betty Greene’s grand-niece represented her great aunt this month at a Capitol Hill ceremony that honored WASPs with a Congressional Gold Medal.

Greene joined the Women’s Airforce to gain experience in preparation to serve on the mission field. She was the first pilot for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and was also the first woman to fly across the Andes and the first woman to pilot an aircraft in Sudan.  From its humble beginnings of three pilots and two airplanes, it has grown to a  fleet of 58 bush aircraft — including a new Kodiak . It serves 1,000 organizations in isolated areas of the world., transporting missionaries, medical personnel, medicine and relief supplies, as well as emergency medical evacuations. Every three minutes, somewhere in the world, an MAF pilot and plane takes off or lands, covering more distance in six hours than David Livingstone did in his entire 28 years as a missionary in Africa.

Amazing what a commitment to something greater than oneself can accomplish.

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2 responses to “Blazing the Trail

  1. I delivered a C-210 and a C-402 to MAF in Tanzania a few years ago and was impressed by their operation. Although the football helmet one of their pilots wore did look a bit odd.

    • If it was a Minnesota Vikings helmet that would explain a lot.
      Actually, football helmets were in limited use by some pilots during the Korean war when there was a shortage. I can’t imagine why a missionary pilot would need one.

      Wow. That’s two really long ferry ride’s. I’d be interested in the back story of that effort since my wife and I are supporters of MAF.
      If anyone watched the movie “End of the Spear” (2006) or the book on which it was based “Through Gates of Splendor” they might have recognized that the missionaries that were martyred in the jungles of Ecuador were in fact part of MAF.

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