Betty Gillies: WAFS Pilot: The Days and Flights of a World War II Squadron Leader
Sarah Byrn Rickman, author
Betty Gillies: WAFS Pilot The Days and Flights of a World War II Squadron Leader Betty, 5 feet 1½ inches and known to the girls in her squadron as “the Mighty Atom,” flew every twin and single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft needed to win World War II. She used specially made blocks that allowed her to reach the rudder pedals. Her job was three-fold: •\tShe led 80 women pilots whose job it was to ferry (move) aircraft from factories to flight schools, to Army Air Bases across the U.S., and to the docks at Newark, New Jersey, for shipment to England. •\tBetty ferried a large number of those airplanes herself; •\tAnd she was second in command to WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) founder Nancy Love. Betty was Nancy’s “rock” and confidante. After the war, Betty was urged to write her story — or let someone else write it. She refused. “I was just living my life.” “Flying a plane was as normal for her as driving a car,” her granddaughter Glen wrote in the Foreword to this book. Betty “flew west” in 1998. Twenty years later, I approached Glen and her father, Betty’s son Pete, about writing her long-awaited story. The three of us have worked together to bring you the incredible, untold ’til now, story of the remarkable “Mighty Atom,” Betty Huyler Gillies.