Dorothy Olsen, one of the last surviving members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), died July 23 at the age of 103. The Portland, Oregon, dance instructor’s aviation aspirations began at a young age and were fueled by books describing World War I flying aces. She earned her private pilot certificate when she was in her 20s and went on to join an elite group of female pilots supporting the World War II effort. She was a self-described daredevil who had a penchant for flying high-performance military aircraft.
During the Great Depression, she spent the money she made picking hops to obtain her first airplane ride. When she crested nearby mountains in a biplane it was a feeling unequal to anything she had experienced, The Seattle Times reported in 2010 just before she received a Congressional Gold Medal for her military service. READ MORE (AOPA)