Dorothy E. Scott
February 16, 1920 – December 3, 1943
WAFS “The Originals”
October, 1942, Dorothy Scott was hired as a ferry pilot in the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of the Air Transport Command.
On July 5, 1943, she became a WASP when the WFTD and WAFS merged.
Training Location: New Castle Army Air Base (Wilmington, Del.)
Assigned bases: New Castle Army Air Base (Wilmington, Del.) and 5th Ferrying Group at Love Field in Dallas, Texas
Planes flown: PT-19, BT-13, BT-15, AT-6, AT-10
Dorothy started out at New Castle Army Air Base in Wilmington, Delaware and then went to the 5th Ferrying Group at Love Field in Dallas. While stationed at Love, she was sent to Palm Springs Army Air Field for pursuit plane training for the P-39, P-40, and P-47. Initial training started from the rear seat of an AT-6 or BC-1, which simulated the view from a pursuit plane cockpit. On this fateful day, there were several trainers and pursuits in the air. Dorothy had just been cleared to make her final landing. The tower had also cleared a P-39 to come in second. However, one thing had not been taken into account during this landing of both planes: The P-39 was the faster of the two. Without even seeing the BC-1, the P-39 caught up with it and came down on it without ever seeing it.
More than eleven hundred women pilots flew military aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. These pioneering female aviators were known first as WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and eventually as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Thirty-eight of them died while serving their country. Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight. She died in a mid-air crash at the age of twenty-three. Born in 1920, Scott was a member of the first group of women selected to fly as ferry pilots for the Army Air Forces. Her story would have been lost had her twin brother not donated her wartime letters home to the WASP Archives. Dorothy’s extraordinary voice, as heard through her lively letters, tells of her initial decision to serve, and then of her training and service, first as a part of the WAFS and then the WASP. The letters offer a window into the mind of a young, patriotic, funny, and ambitious woman who was determined to use her piloting skills to help the US war effort. The letters also offer archival records of the day-to-day barracks life for the first women to fly military aircraft. The WASP received some long overdue recognition in 2010 when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest honor that Congress can bestow on civilians.
A new book from Sarah Byrn Rickman has been released, called “Finding Dorothy Scott, Letters of a WASP Pilot”. This interesting book tells the story of Dorothy Scott, a female pilot, who joined the war efforts of the Second World War.