The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on October 2, 1976 · Page 17
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 17

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 2, 1976
Page:
Page 17
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The Palm Beach Post-Times SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1976 '',-. ' B SECTION Ladies Courageous Flew Into Blue During WWII Women's Airforce Service Pilots Still Meeting After 32 Years Teresa James of Lake Worth (in 1944 photo) was among the 25 original pilots who proved women could fly anything the engineer could rivet together. By TIM O'MEILIA Poit Staff Writtr "Once we wore scanties, but now we're in zoots. "They are our issued GI flying suits." A WASP Marching Song And there"s the World War II ace pilot Loretta Voung and her sidekick Geraldine Fitzgerald, patriotic hymns buzzing in their ears, keeping the motion picture skies safe for democracy, and not incidentally, finding husbands among the flak-blackened clouds. Hair perfectly curled, flying suits nicely tailored and lipstick in place, they were the "Ladies Courageous." And here's four of the Big War's genuine Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPsI in a Lake Worth living room 32 years later, half-embarrassed by the movie, proud of their part in the war and holding a three-decade grudge against Congress. Teresa James (Jamesy) of Lake Worth, a Pittsburgh floral designer, was among the 25 original pilots who proved women could fly anything the engineers could rivet together. Liz Pearce Lundy of Miami, a Quincy native who learned to fly because there wasn't anything else to do in her "one-horse town", became half of a husband-wife flying team as a WASP. Marianne Beard Nutt of Stuart, lived to fly after her uncle took her up from a Wisconsin corn field when she was 7. Katie Strehle of Miami, a Georgia cracker from Macon, still teaches instrument flying. Wearing baggy flying suits, " 30-pound parachutes and packing ,45s, they were among 1,074 "Pistol-Packing Mamas". "No one even knows about us. They say I'm nuts when I mention it," Mrs. James said. The WASPs logged 60 million miles ferrying fighters and bombers from factories to training fields, tawing targets for combat pilots and testing new aircraft. The WASPs were an experiment dreamed up by Gen. H.H. (Hap) Arnold to free more men for combat flying. After training in Houston and Sweetwater, Tex., with men who eventually became second lieutenants, the women were stationed in Long Beach, Calif., Wilmington, Del., Dallas and near Detroit. They flew pursuit planes such as the P51, P47, P38 and bombers such as the B25 and B26. Thirty-eight of them died on their missions. When the WASPs were disbanded in late 1944 after two years. Arnold said,"You and more than 900 of your sisters have shown you can fly wingtip to wingtip'with your brothers. If ever there was a doubt in anyone's mind that women can become skillful pilots, the WASPs have dispelled that doubt." But many agreed with the old man in the St. Louis bar. Following a mission, Mrs. Lundy came in wearing her gun, toting her parachute and in need of a bath. Looking her over he said, "you women ain't going to be worth a damn when the war's over." "There was nothing glamorous about it, kid. Lp be-Turn to WASPS, BS p m'i i . " 1 "" GSssJj Katie Strehle of Miami (in 1944 photo) is a Georgia cracker from Macon who still teaches instrument flying. World War I: Theme of a Fort Lauderdale Restaurant Some May Wonder Whether Battles Bolster Appetites By CHARLES CALHOUN Post Staff Writer FORT LAUDERDALE - Winston Churchill once remarked that the American Civil War was the last war fought by gentlemen. He must have overlooked that strange interlude in the First World War when the battle, at a stalemate in the trenches, continued in the clouds. Far above the mud and the stench, small I lights of .brave men performed a deadly ballet in the flimsiest of aircraft. On both sides, the code of honor held that you saluted- your enemy's bravado even while trying to shoot him down. It was chivalry's last fling. It all seems as far away now us the days of minstrels and jousts. But since there are restaurants that take you back to King Arthur's court, it's no surprise that an enterprising chain has come up with a new concept in "theme" dining the 94th Aero Squadton. Pilots of the little aircraft that buzz in and out of Fort Lauderdale's executive airport may wonder why that bright red Fokker triplane with the Iron Cross insignia on its side is parked along the runway. If they take a closer look, they may become even more disoriented Machine gun emplacements and concertina wire encircle an old French farmhouse whose owner left so quickly that bales of hay still hang Irom the loft door. Lafayette, we are here. We being the Yanks ol the 94th who have set up headquarters at the abandoned farm, and several hundred contented diners sitting around the blazing hearth and swapping combat stories. Pastichio is the flavor of the day. That's why the time to visit the 94th's headquarters really is at night, when the restaurant's Disney World-like special etk-cts are at their best. If you're driving down from the Palm Beaches, turn west off 1-95 at the Cypress Creek Road exit and proceed about 2 miles into the boondocks. Squadron headquarters aren't too well marked can't let the Kaiser know where you are but you 11 see the warm glow from the manor and may recognize the voice of George M. Cohan singing "Over There" floating among the treetops. The sentry in doughboy uniform at the gate will snap to attention and salute as you turn in a little touch that apparently never fails to boost the spirits of bedraggled businessmen at the end of a hard day. Just inside the tront hall, you'll overhear aces just back from a mission report in, have a drink and eventually break into song. While waiting for a table you can sip a drink served by a waitress in French peasant garb or munch popcorn while watching Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields or a short film about the "ace ot aces," Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker. Turn to RESTAURANT, BS Staff Photo by AKira Suwa The restaurant is filled with momentos real and simulated - of the First World War and especially of the famed 94th Aero Squadron that led all the others in the number of its bombing missions and planes brought down. Me? I'm Just Writing To Add Comic Relief Among the Nacirema. a polyglot nation of 230 million people, a class of scribes is at once venerated and despised by the larger society. The scribes are charged with filling chronicles with the daily lamentations and sufferings of the people. Neither a conflagration nor pestilence nor plague carried by swine is visited upon the people without the cult of scriveners publishing it abroad. The Nacirema meditate over these chronicles in a dawn ceremony presided over by a priestess, her hair painfully bound in clips, her person robed in flannel or chenille. She pours a boiling brown fluid into a ritual cup lifted by the household priest to scald and purify his mouth while mumbling dark incantations over the chronicle. These incantations invoke the names of High Scribes with exotic names such as Anderson, McGrory and Reston, and may be uttered soltly with thanksgiving or shrilly as in torme'it, depending whether the scribe has given pleasure or offense. Meanest of the scriveners cult and most miserable is the "cub" or novice scribe who has endured four years of purification at a temple clad with ivy. Senior scribes send the cubs to witness dealings in the market places, meetings of the lawmakers and tribunals so they may observe and transcribe. After witnessing such events, the cub takes coded writings into a cell or cubicle that he might meditate and pray, beseeching a deity to help him understand what it is he has written and cannot now decipher. At length, he fills a page with his understanding, such as it is only to present it to a senior scribe who must pronounce a benediction and declare the writing worthy. Not all such offerings are accepted for the tablets; indeed, the senior scribe often will rend his garment, screaming that the cub has made an abomination. The novice is given stripes and sent back to his cell to amend the text. Curiously, the Nacirema, while often calling down curses on its scribes, vouchsaves their station with the tribe's most sacred document, which was altered soon after its making expressly to ensure that scribes prosper and and not perish. Yet chieftains, charged with preserving the document and executing its charges, cry out in pain and vexation when they are subject of the scrivener's accounts. Some leaders have even proposed that the scribes should thrive at the sufferance of a beneficent tribunal of elders who would guard them from excess, moderate their zeal and chastise any who would speak ill of chief-tans. Among the scribes themselves is a certain caste whose deficiencies render them unfit for ordinary employment but harmless to society. These are issued foolscap and quills in hopes they can furnish amusement to leaven the great issue of lamentations. They go by name of "columnists." 1 ': JWa. i Ron Wiggins irs- ,ir-irrirSMMirir -r ir-iJs r rfi fi x n - r r nrr i r i

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