Monday, February 28, 2011

WASP Anna Hopkins White, 44-W-1 Jan. 29, 2011

Anna Hopkins White was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and raised in Jena, Louisiana. 
She learned to fly while studying airport management at LSU. She fell in love with flying and hitchhiked from the campus to the airport so that she could earn more hours, finally logging the 35 hours required to enter WASP training.
She applied for and was accepted into the women’s flying training program. In August of 1943, Anna arrived in hot, dusty, Sweetwater, Texas, to report for training as a member of class of 44-1.
Anna and her class were the first WASP class to graduate wearing the Santiago Blue uniform, which had been designed for the WASP by Bergdorf Goodman and fitted by Neiman Marcus in Dallas. In their honor, the other classes composed special songs for the ceremony, creating a new tradition at Avenger Field.
After earning her silver wings on Feb. 11, 1944, Anna was assigned to Childress Army Air Field, a Bombardier School, in Childress, Texas. Here, she flew the AT-11, flying to a fixed altitude, and turning over the aircraft to the bombardier cadets for the ‘simulated bomb runs’ as they practiced for combat. Later, she was transferred to Eagle Pass Advanced Gunnery School helping train gunnery cadets.
After the WASP were disbanded, Ann worked as an instrument instructor in Corpus Christi, eventually marrying one of her students.

On Veteran's Day, 2010, Anna was one of the WASP honored in Dallas, Texas at a special event.  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison presented her with a copy of the bill, awarding the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal.  her face lit up as she shook the Senator's hand.  
Anna passed away on January 29, 2011.  Our prayers are with her family.  

Respectfully posted by Nancy Parrish
February 28, 2011

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