Female WW II Test Pilot to Receive Highest Honor

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

An Alabama woman who test-piloted American warplanes in the 1940s is headed to Washington, D.C., to be honored with other women for their World
War II military service.

Mary Helen Foster of Northport will receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor for civilians.

Foster served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. She was based at Malden Army Airfield in Missouri and flew C-47s, which carried paratroopers.

Women weren't allowed in combat zones during the war. But they delivered planes to stateside bases, transported cargo and personnel and tested planes for safety.

The WASP Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. in the U.S. Capitol.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill recognizing the WASP service as active duty in the armed forces and entitling them to veterans' benefits.


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