Nancy Nordhoff Dunnam
April 16, 1923 ~ March 12, 2017
Class: 44-W-7
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Assigned Bases: Moore Army Air Base (Mission, Tex.)
Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, C-45, UC-78

Nancy Anne Boyns Nordhoff was born in Seattle to Arthur and Thelma Nordhoff on April 16, 1923.

Raised in Madison Park, Nancy attended the Helen Bush School, Garfield High School, and both Whitman College and the University of Washington.

Before graduation, World War II called her to serve. Having her aviation license qualified Nancy to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots volunteer program in Sweetwater, Texas. She travelled to Texas in 1942 with her friend Carol Nicholson to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots.

Her job was to tow targets behind her plane for live gunnery practice by male fighter pilots. In 2010, she and her fellow WASP were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in Washington DC.

While in Texas she met and soon married her commanding officer, James J. Dunnam. After the war, Jim and Nancy moved to Bellevue to raise their two children, while helping her father operate Bellevue Airfield for over 40 years.

As the children grew, Nancy became a member of the Junior League, the Child Hearing League, and volunteered at Overlake Hospital taking newborn baby pictures. She was an early and active supporter of Planned Parenthood, the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Nancy enjoyed world travel, entertaining, dancing, boating, skiing, sewing, bridge, reading “who done its”, and caring for her many family dogs, but tennis was her greatest love. She was a life long member of the Seattle Tennis Club, participating in Tennis Week, Ladies Day and many other social events. She was fortunate enough to attend the US Open, and many tournaments at Indian Wells, California.

Nancy (Nordhoff) Dunnam in cockpit of North American AT-6 Texan

Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas


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