• "I never had the honor of meeting you personally, but I am..."
  • "Godspeed Helen!"
  • "I only knew Helen for a couple of years but, in that short..."
  • "Surely the angels must be rejoicing with the arrival of our..."
    - Constance Wilds
  • "My very first flight instructor back in 1967 was a former..."
    - Rick Lieb



Of Pembroke Pines passed away January 20, 2013. Family and friends were central to Helen's life; she treasured them as much as they adored her. During a summer break at college Helen started taking flying lessons with her sister Evelyn who also had a passion for flying. Helen heard about the Women's Air Force Service Pilots training program and was accepted into the fourth training class 43-4-W4, at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. Her duties included aerial target towing for anti-aircraft training, search light training, radar operations, strafing exercises and she participated in the first drone development. Helen's last assignment would be at Liberty Field, Fort Stewart, Georgia. There she flew planes towing targets while teenaged male recruits fired live ammunition at the targets. Her final task in the service was a top secret mission with radio-controlled aircraft that would later be packed with explosives and used as the first guided bombs. After the war, Helen returned to Washington, DC area to raise three children while working for the US Post office. On March 11, 2010, Helen, along with the other 175 living members of the WASPs and relatives of the others were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C. A talented speaker, Helen often spoke at military bases, universities, and flying events. She took delight in encouraging young people to pursue their dreams. Helen urged them to dream and strive without hesitation just as she had when she reached for the clouds at a moment in time when women did not fly planes. Helen is survived by her beloved two sons, Jeremy and David, daughter-in-law Adriana, as well as her three grandchildren Robert, Benton, and Justin. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Wings Over Miami Air Museum (www.wingsovermiami.com) at the Kendall Tamiami Executive Airport in Miami, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wings Over Miami, 14710 SW 128th Street, Miami, FL 33196 or the Florida Gold Coast 99s , 880 N.E. 69 St. #4F, Miami, FL 33138.

Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 24, 2013