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Tue, Dec 11, 2018

Gone West: WASP Alma Fornal

Passed In Late November At The Age Of 98

Former WASP pilot Alma Fornal has Gone West. She passed away November 29th at the age of 98.

The Highland (CA) Community News reports that Fornal, a long-time resident of Highland, joined the Army Air Force unit at the age of 22. She spent two years with the service. She was first assigned as a test pilot flying a B-26 towing a target aircraft for gunnery practice. She qualified to fly several types of aircraft during her stint with the WASPs.

Fornal took her first airplane ride while a student at the University of Arkansas. She reportedly left college and took a job at Keesler Field Air Force Hospital, and saved her money for flying lessons. While at Keelser, she read that WASP applicants needed at least two years of college and a private pilot certificate. She was one of more than 25,000 who applied. The DOD says only 1,830 were accepted and of those, 1.074 competed the training.

She met her husband, Capt. Joe Fornal while flying the B-26 tow aircraft at Tyndall Field in Florida. He had been working in commercial aviation, and was offered an officer's commission.

Fornal was one of the WASPs to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in March 2010.

(Courtesy image)

FMI: Source report


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