America said women can’t fly; MN aviator didn’t listen

For a state that worships its people who made good — especially those who got out of here as soon as they could to make their fortune elsewhere — it could do more to recognize Elizabeth Strohfus of Faribault, Minn.

But she’ll at least get some due on Saturday in her hometown as grand marshall of the Heritage Days parade.

Strohfus is 96 now. She’s one of Minnesota’s aviation pioneers, having proven to the world a singular truth: Women fly.

“The government did not want us flying because they did not want women flying. So they did everything they could to stop our group from getting together. But we didn’t care, we flew anyways,” Strohfus tells the Faribault Daily News. “They even sealed our records. We don’t even know how many miles we flew for the Army Air Force.”

It was until the ’70s that the United States finally recognized the WASPs were actually veterans.

And it wasn’t until 2010 that Strohfus and other WASPs were given the Congressional Gold Medal.

Still, when the war ended, she couldn’t get a job doing what she loved. Flying was for men.

Here’s a delightful piece that colleague Nikki Tundel did with her a few years ago.