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1943 Flight jacket and Cap

1943 Flight jacket and CapWinnebago native Virginia Mae Hope enrolled as a Women’s Air Service Pilot (WASP) in 1943, part of the Army Air Force’s civilian recruitment program. WASPs shuttled aircraft and supplies to bases in the United States, freeing up male pilots for combat flights.

Assigned to the Weather Wing at Patterson Field in Ohio, Hope transported Weather Service crews and planes. She logged 650 hours in the air while stationed at Patterson. On December 10, 1944, Hope and sixteen other military pilots died when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Omaha, Nebraska.

Learn More:

Photographs of Viginia Mae Hope

WASP information in the MHS collections

Minnesota Goes to War by Dave Kenney

Minnesota's Greatest Generation Project

Virginia Mae Hope History Player