DATE: August 4, 2006
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2006-75
WORLD WAR II WOMAN PILOT TO TALK
Vi Cowden, World War II WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) Veteran, will give a presentation on Friday, August 11, 7:00 p.m., at the Great Basin College Theater. Cowden, 89, will talk about her and other women’s experiences as pilots during the war. The talk is free and the public is invited.
Cowden was born in a sod house in Bowdle, South Dakota. She developed a love of flying early in her life and received her private pilot’s license before World War II in 1940. Early in 1943 she volunteered for WASP. They were the first 1,074 women to fly military aircraft. She took the same training as men in Sweetwater, Texas. After receiving her wings she was assigned to the Air Transport Command in Dallas, Texas. Her mission was to ferry aircraft from the factories to training fields and points of debarkation in Newark, New Jersey or Long Beach, California.
Cowden flew 19 different types of aircraft and was qualified to fly pursuit planes. Her favorite plane was the P-51 Mustang. Since the war she was in the ceramics business for 10 years and was named Director of the Teachers’ Resource Center in Huntington Beach, California.
Vi Cowden went sky diving when she was 76 because she always wanted to jump. On February 25, 2006, she jumped with the Golden Knights to prove to herself she could do it at age 89 … and to give people her age encouragement to follow their dreams. .net
The talk is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management Elko Field Office and Great Basin College.