Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot: Her Life for Her Country

Cornelia Clark Fort
Photo courtesy the WASP Archive, Texas Woman’s University

Know that in reading Cornelia Fort’s story you will experience the best of what humanity has to offer. Flying along with this fine young pilot, who died too soon, you will learn what it feels like to dance with birds, chase clouds, and fly the wild blue yonder.

Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot: Her Life for Her Country is now available on Amazon as a trade paperback book. Cornelia’s story is my sixth and final WAFS/WASP of WWII biography in a series written for readers age 12 and up. A Kindle e-book will be available soon.

This is my 13th book about the experienced and very dedicated American women pilots who flew military aircraft in World War II. The first – The Originals: The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of WWII – was published in 2001.

Amelia Earhart Led The Way For Women Pilots

Cornelia’s story – like the other five biographies in this series – is aimed at today’s middle school and high school age girls. Why?

I was thirteen when I discovered Amelia Earhart – still today America’s most famous woman pilot. Her chapter in my Ninth Grade English textbook about famous Americans was the only one that featured a woman. Destiny was on my side. Meeting Amelia between the pages of that book ultimately sent me on a journey to discover the women pilots who followed in her footsteps – the women of the next generation who, like “AE”, longed to fly and did!

Those women became the 303 ferry pilots who – as civilians – flew for the Air Transport Command, U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. They were known first as the WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and later as the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Note: to ferry an aircraft is to fly it from one location to another.

Meeting These Women Changed My Life

I was fortunate enough to meet several of these women in the 1990s. I listened to and fell in love with their stories. The initial encounter – still vivid in my mind and described in detail in the Introduction to The Originals – changed my life. The result today, 12 more books – six of them aimed at these younger women and concluding now with the publication of Cornelia Fort’s extraordinary story.

At the core of her story is her romance with flight. It begins the day she takes her very first flight and, in the process, finds her life’s journey. Flying became Cornelia’s “raison d’etre” ­– her reason for being and her joy in living. Ultimately, it took her life. To honor her, the WAFS dedicated a special ferrying flight in her name.

I hope you’ll like Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot!                        

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Check out Cornelia Fort on Amazon.



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