Kathryn Stark Gunderson
1916 – February 12, 2019
Class: 43-W-5
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Assigned Bases: Romulus Army Air Base (Mich.)
Planes flown: PT-19 and AT-6

Gunderson had a lifelong interest in aviation, and began her military career training pilots on the Link Trainer. When she learned of the WASP, she immediately applied and was part of the fifth class of women pilots to fly for the service.

Gunderson flew a variety of missions, according to the report, including towing targets for machine gun practice at Eagle Pass, Texas. Her plane even took one round through its tail, but she was able to land safely. While her daughter Sheila told a CBS4 reporter that she said she was never sure she would return from one of those target-tow missions, she was never afraid of the flights.

Gunderson also delivered new airplanes to bases all over the country, trained pilots on new technology, and ferried service personnel to where they were needed.

Gunderson was one of the WASP to receive a Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.

While she truly enjoyed being a mom, she continued flying after leaving the service. She took helicopter lessons in her 80s, according to her daughter Kathryn.

Congressional medal and wings

Sources:
AERO News Network
Colorado News
Courtesy Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas. WASP Collection.

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