Betty Strohfus, at age 94 one of the surviving veterans of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) corps of WWII, traveled to Oshkosh Friday morning (March 7) with UW-Green Bay students and visited the Experimental Aircraft Association museum. She posed with several of the Theatre students in front of a vintage combat trainer similar to one she formerly piloted. Earlier, she had climbed up on the wing to inspect the museum’s tribute to her — her name affixed near the cockpit in a place of honor.
The EAA visit started Day 2 of her Green Bay area stay. On Thursday, Strohfus charmed a UW-Green Bay audience — as well as local news media and everyone she met. She was flown here from her home in Faribault, Minn., for activities in conjunction with the UW-Green Bay production of Censored on Final Approach, which tells the story of the WASPs. She took time to reminisce at University Union and Phoenix Bookstore showcase displays of WASP memorabilia and uniforms. Animated, energetic and funny, Strohfus starred as the special guest at a women’s veterans panel Thursday afternoon in the Christie Theatre. Panelists talked about stereotyping of women in the military but also the great opportunities and generally supportive colleagues. Afterward, she signed publicity photos for her fellow panelists, vets, students and others in attendance. Many of those approaching her complimented her on being “an inspiration,” “an amazing woman” and “a hero.” To several, she replied, “Hero? I’m just an old lady.” An old lady with a remarkable story about special women in U.S. history.