Retired Lt. Col. Betty Jane Williams, who flew as a Women Airforce Service Pilot during World War II, died Dec. 8 at age 89, reports the Los Angeles Times. Williams had earned her pilot’s license in a civilian training program six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and instrument flight training through an airline program, after which she began training Navy and civilian pilots. She began flying with the WASPs in January 1944, testing repaired aircraft for airworthiness, according to an interview she did with the newspaper. During her WASP time, she flew about 78 different aircraft. After the war, she created and produced a television aviation program and worked as a technical writer with North American Aviation and later as a tech writer and filmmaker with Lockheed Aircraft. During the Korean War, she served in the Air Force as a writer-producer for a video production unit. Williams helped set up the WASP national organization. (Read Air Force Magazine’s The WASPs)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.