Marcia Ellen Courtney Bellassai
DOB – July 21, 2009
WASP Class W-43-3
Planes flown: AT-6, PT-19, A-24, A-25, B-24, C-47, UC-78
Romulus Army Air Base (Mich.)
Camp Davis Army Air Field (N.C.)
Born in Hartford, WI, Marcia was the second of three sisters, she attended the St. Kilian School and was pleased to have had one of her father’s prize chickens named after her. She graduated from UW Madison in 1941, and began flying with the CPTP, even occasionally barnstorming in aircraft of the period.
At the beginning of World War II, she worked for two years for Piper Aircraft Corp., and then was admitted into the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), earning her WASP wings and graduating in class 43-W-3.
She flew a wide variety of missions, including towing targets (for live AAC practice), ferrying aircraft to airfields around the country, and instructing.
After the war, she worked for the Joint Attache Office at the American Legation in Bucharest, Romania, where she met her future husband, the late Maj. Anthony Bellassai. They lived at a variety of duty stations in Europe, California and Fort Huachuca, Ariz., eventually settling in Maryland for many years.
She earned a master of library science degree from the University of Maryland, and did a number of library and literacy studies (some still available online), before finally retiring with her husband to Sierra Vista. Marcia loved history, ancient cultures, genealogy, languages, and gardening, and her passion for reading — especially mysteries and novels of the Regency period — was unmatched.