Mildred Evelyn Eckert Carder
July 31, 1921 – Nov. 25, 2015
Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-10, UC-64, UC-78
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Assigned bases: Stuttgart Army Air Base, (Ark.)
Born July 31, 1921 in Mason, Texas to Kinney and Zilla (Wood). Mildred graduated from the University of Texas in 1942 with not only a Bachelor of Arts degree but also a private pilot’s license. Her love of flying led to a position as a Link instructor, teaching instrument flying to Navy cadets at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by selection for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) training program at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas.
On September 8, 1944, Mildred and 58 of her classmates were awarded their WASP wings. Following graduation, she was assigned to Stuttgart Army Air Base in Stuttgart, Arkansas. WASP at this twin engine training base flew AT-10’s, AT-6/s, UC-78’s and UC-64’s. Mildred was assigned to operations, where she flew weather hops, engineering check flights, utility hops and grave yard shifts to pick up pilots taking planes to storage.
After WWII, marriage, children, and traveling the world with her Air Force husband, the family moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee in 1963 where Mildred resumed her teaching career. She earned a Master of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University in 1973 and retired from the Washington County, Tennessee school system in 1984. Mildred loved to travel and read, never losing her enthusiasm for adventure and learning.
Mildred was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, the Order of Daedalians association of military pilots, and the Williamsburg United Methodist Church.