Opal Vivian Hicks Fagan
July 9, 1915 – October 31, 2000
Class: 44-W-7
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Assigned Bases: Stockton Army Air Base (Calif.)
Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-11, UC-78

Opal grew up in Everett and joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots for the adventure of flying and to serve her country. During her 1944 training she took part in tests to demonstrate that women could fly while having their menstrual period. An argument against women pilots was that they would be unable to fly at this time. The tests disproved the prejudice. Fagan was involved in ferrying flights and when she heard that the program might be disbanded, she worked to get time in high-horsepower aircraft. When the program was disbanded, she gave flying lessons in Prosser, Washington. She opened a flying school that catered to returning veterans using their educational benefits. In 1949 she went to Hawaii and was turned down as an Aloha Airlines pilot because she was a woman, but was hired to teach Aloha pilots instrument flying.

Sources:
Findagrave.com
HistoryLink.org
Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas

 

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