Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories

Then, in 1940, along with all licensed women commercial pilots, Winnie received a letter from Jacqueline Cochran asking her to join the Royal Air Force. Winnie answered the call. In Montreal, she passed the RAF test and she shipped out on a coal freighter for England. During the twenty-eight days aboard the ship, she learned to play poker, becoming expert enough to beat the captain.

Once overseas, she joined the Women's Air Transport Auxiliary and ferried planes from the United States to Scotland and fighter and bomber bases in England. She also flew British-built planes from factories to bases around the nation, including B-25 bombers. During the war, she met and fell in love with Colonel Peter Beasley. They married. She was twenty-eight; he was fifty-six.

 

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes