WASPS at New Castle Opened in May 1943, New Castle AAB was assigned to the Air Corps Ferrying Command 2d Ferrying Group with the 552d Army Air Forces Base Unit being the host unit in charge of the base and its facilities. The primary mission of the airfield was to facilitate the movement of aircraft overseas for delivery to the British and other Allies. Nancy Harkness Love was appointed as the first Squadron Leader of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron(WAFS) at New Castle Army Air Base on 10 September 1942.
Nancy Love was followed in turn by: Betty Huyler Gillies; Cornelia Fort(killed in service); Aline Rhonie (Brooks); Helen Mary Clark; Catherine Slocum; Adela Schaar; Esther Nelson; Teresa James; Alma Heflin McCormick; Barbara Poole; Bernice I. Batten; Nancy Batson (Crews); Kathryn Bernheim (Fine); Delphine Bohn; Phyllis Burchfield; Barbara Donohue (Ross); Barbara J. Erickson (London): Betsy Ferguson (Wood); Dorothy Fulton; Helen McGilvery; Gertrude Meserve (Tubbs); Florence miller (Watson); Esther rathfelder (Westervelt); Helen Richards (Prosser) ; Dorothy Scott (killed in service); Evelyn Sharp (killed is service); Katherine Thompson (Rawls); and Barbara Towne (Fasken). These 25 original WAFS came from some fourteen states.
To learn more, see: 'From Delaware to Everywhere" by Jan Churchill, Delaware Heritage Commission publication 2007
In August 1943, the original four WAFS Ferry Squadrons became part of the historic Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs). WASPs served as test and ferry pilots and towed targets for student gunners. There is a statue today at the airport that honors the women of WASP that served their country in the time of need. On 30 June 1945, the 1596th AAF Base Unit replaced the 552d AAFBU and the 2d Ferrying group was replaced by the 2d Foreign Transport Group.
Women in the Air Force at Dover Air Force Base Dover AFB’s first Women in the Air Force (WAF) squadron was activated as part of the 436th Air Base Group on September 1, 1970. 2Lt Virginia Alden was appointed Officer in Charge of the 436th WAF Sqdn. On September 7, 1973 1Lt Lois E. Rankin was assigned as commander. Just five years later in 1975 the squadron was inactivated, and assigned personnel were integrated with almost every organization on Dover AFB.
The wing’s first female C-5 pilot, 1Lt Gayle I. Westbrook, 3d Military Airlift Squadron, flew her first operational mission on Independence Day 1985. On April 24, 1987 Westbrook became the first female pilot in 21 AF to be certified as an aircraft commander.
28 March 1988 An all-female C-5 crew flew a European channel mission as part of the U.S. Air Force Women’s History Month celebration.
Women in the Delaware Air National Guard On October 22, 1962 a new unit, the "142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Flight," was added to the Delaware Air National Guard. This unit initially consisted of only four personnel but had an authorized strength of 12 flight nurses and 36 aeromedical evacuation technicians rated for the mission. Many 142nd AEF members augmented active duty crews flying live missions to the US from Europe and Japan.
Linda Van Vechten, an aeromedical evacuation technician, was the first female enlisted person in the Delaware Air National Guard in 1973. Capt Carolyn Doolittle, in 1972, became the first female to command a unit when she was appointed commander of the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Flight. On May 14, 2011, Carol Anne Timmons became the first General officer appointed to the Delaware Air National Guard.
Dr. Hazel W. Johnson-Brown of Wilmington, DE, formerly of Chester County, First African American Woman General, (Ret.) of the U. S. Army. Born October 10, 1927 in West Chester, PA, she was the daughter of the late, Clarence L. Johnson Sr. and Garnett Henley Johnson.
Entering the Army Nurse Corps in 1955, General Johnson-Brown served for the first 12 years in various positions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the 8169th Hospital, Japan; Madigan General Hospital; 45th Surgical Hospital; and Fort Sam Houston and Valley Forge General Hospital. From 1967 to 1973, she was assigned as the project director at the US Army Medical Research and Development Command in the Army Medical Department field hospital system. Upon completion of her doctoral studies, she was appointed Director of the Walter Reed Army Institute for Nursing; the Office of the Surgeon; the 8th Army Command; and Chief, Department of Nursing, US Army Hospital/121 Evacuation Hospital, Seoul, Korea. In these positions, she was the senior ranking US military nurse in South Korea and the Chief Consultant for Nursing Matters to the Senior Medical Officer, 8th Army Command. In 1979, she was selected to the position of Chief, Army Nurse Corps, and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. General Johnson-Brown became: the 16th Chief of the Army Nurse Corp; the first Chief holding an earned doctorate; the 4th chief to hold the rank of Brigadier General; and the first Black woman General in the history of the US Military Services. Dr. Johnson-Brown died on Friday, August 5, 2011.