Barbara Erickson London never felt as though she fit in when she was taking home economics classes as a UW student in the 1940s. But she felt right at home in the cockpit of a warplane as one of the original 28 members of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron,
an experimental group of women pilots hired to fly newly built military aircraft to military bases in World War II.
London (who didn’t finish her UW degree) was among 200 surviving Women
Airforce Service Pilots who went to Washington, D.C., in March to be honored with the
Congressional Gold Medal for their exploits during World War II. “I was in the right place at the
right time,” she says. “I was proud that I could do my duty for the war effort.”—Jon Marmor