Flying Legend – Betty “Tack” Blake – WASP Class 43-1
Last weekend I had the honor once again to meet up with Ms. Betty “TACK ” Blake.
The recent visit of the EAA‘s B-17 Aluminum Overcast brought out many WWII Vets, Blake, among the most interesting of them all.
Talking to Betty is like opening an aviation history book, Betty as a WASP in the 1940’s, flew L-5’s, L-19’s, BT-13 &15’s, PT-19’s, 22’s, AT-6 &11’s, C-45’’s 47’s, B-17’s, 24 & 25’s, P-38, 39, 40, 47 & P-51’s…across the country and back.
The WASP program was started to support the troops and free up male pilots for combat duty. I listened intently about how she would take off in a P-51 Mustang and fly it from Long Beach, CA to Newark NJ. After securing the mustang, she would get orders to fly a different type back to Long beach. I asked her how she type rated in so many different aircraft. The answer was simple. She went and got the flight manual for that particular aircraft read through it and when she was comfortable with the info; strapped in started the engine and took off.
That one act alone shows the courage this woman and every aviator of that era possessed. Truly a generation we need to respect and honor. For without that selfless sacrifice we all would be in a different place today. Thanks Betty for a job well done.
To find out more about the WWII WASP program and Betty Blake ,follow this link.
Video from http://www.youtube.com/user/jschoons
WFTD CLASS 43-1, The Guinea Pigs, 23 GRADUATES, 4/24/43, TWU 43-1 Bios BOYSEN, Eleanor [Morgan] BROWN, G. C. “Brownie” [Kindig] CALLAGHAN, Claire G. COLBERT, Mary Lou [Neale], Capt. USAFR COLLINS, Edna C. [Kingdon] GRANGER, Byrd Howell GRAY, Marjorie W., Lt. Col. USAF GREENBLATT, Evelyn S. [Howren], Capt. USAFR HELLMAN, Ruth K. JOHNSON, Ann R. Lt. Col. USAF JOHNSON, Vega KETCHAM, Marjorie J. [Deacon] KUMLER, Marjorie LAMPHERE, Marylene Geraldine “Geri” [Nyman] MACKEY, Marion [deGregorio] McCORMICK, Margaret E. McKINLEY, Elizabeth A. [Matray] MILLER, Sidney RICHARDS, Lovelle [Benesh] STRAUGHAN, Jane S., Capt. USAFR TACKABERRY, Betty Guild [Blake] TACKE, Magda T. YOUNG, Dorothy L. (from http://wwii-women-pilots.org/)