Betty Whitlow Smith in an AT-6, 5th Ferrying Group, Love Field, Dallas, Texas. Photo courtesy of Texas Woman’s University

Elizabeth “Betty” Whitlow Smith
December 29, 1920 -June 16, 2011
Class: 43-W-2
Training Location: Houston Municipal Airport (Tex.)
Planes flown: B-24, P-40, P-47, P-51,, PT-19, BT-15, AT-6, PT-17, A-24
Assigned bases:
Love Field (Dallas, Tex.)

“Having friends and a belief system… Knowing that it’s gonna be OK. There is something greater than us watching over us.” – WASP Elizabeth “Betty” Whitlow Smith on getting through tough times.

Betty Whitlow Smith was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in December 1920. From as early as she could remember, airplanes fascinated her. She felt drawn to the sense of freedom and space she felt when she looked up.  As a young girl, Betty covered her bedroom walls with aviation pictures, including a magazine ad featuring an airplane silhouette along with a bottle of perfume.

During her sophomore year at the University of Tulsa, the 19-year-old psychology major, was given the opportunity to fly in the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP).  Betty became one of two women surrounded by 18 men in the government sponsored program, eventually earning her pilot’s license.

Once she soloed, Betty’s first passenger was her mother, Mary. Soon, Betty became 1/4 owner of a Piper Cub and continued flying while working at Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa, inspecting equipment on modified B-24’s.

Once she had accumulated the required 200 hours, she was accepted into the WASP training program and entered training at Houston Municipal Airport (now Houston Hobby) as a member of the second class. After graduation she was stationed with the 5th Ferrying Group, ATC at Love Field in Dallas.

While serving as a WASP, Betty started out ferrying PTs, BTs, and AT-6s. Graduating from pursuit school was her next accomplishment, which led to ferrying the P-51, P-40 and P-47. With Betty’s passion for aviation and a challenge, it’s no surprise that she also completed Officers Training School in Orlando, FL.

Sources:
CAF WASP Squadron Facebook
Texas Women’s University, Denton, Texas. WASP collection
WASP Blogspot

Share:

More Posts

William T. Fauntroy

William T. Fauntroy, Jr. Class: 45-I-SE William T. Fauntroy, Jr. was born on March 26, 1926 in the District of Columbia. Fauntroy attended John F. Cooke Elementary School, the Grimke Elementary School, Garnett-Patterson Junior High

Read More »

John Flanagan

John Flanagan, Jr. 1923 – 2019 Sgt. Flanagan joined the United States Army as a teenager, and first served as a communications technician as part of the support crew of the 99th Squadron. He fought

Read More »

Julius Freeman

  Julius Freeman April 27, 1927 – July 22, 2016 Freeman, a Kentucky native, became a fixture at schools and civic organizations in Queens and Nassau County, where he discussed his days as a medical

Read More »

Charles H. Flowers

Charles H. Flowers, II “Tiger” August 8, 1918 – January 28, 2011 Flowers joined the Army Air Corps in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1941. He was one of the first Tuskegee cadets to graduate. After graduating

Read More »

Send Us A Message