1943 Flight jacket and Cap
Winnebago 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.