Documentary Screening – Courage in the Clouds: Cornelia Fort and the First Female Pilots of WWII
March 24 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Redwood Educational Technologies will offer a special screening of their new 45-minute documentary – Courage in the Clouds: Cornelia Fort and the First Female Pilots of WWII – at Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Airbase Georgia, 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, at 10 a.m. Friday, March 24, 2023. Judith Stanford Miller, documentary writer and producer, will be accompanied by Leontine Fort Linton LaPointe, Cornelia’s niece. Judith has worked closely with Leontine and other Fort family members for more than a year as she researched Cornelia’s life for the documentary.
Cornelia Fort (1919-1943) was the second woman pilot accepted into the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) in 1942 when the U.S. Army Air Forces reached out to experienced female pilots to perform ferrying duties within the United States. Cornelia was also the first woman military pilot to die in service to her country on March 21, 1943.
Before the outbreak of WWII, Cornelia was an instructor within the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP), first at Fort Collins, Colo., and then in Honolulu Hawaii. Cornelia was in the air early on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 and was one of the first, if not the first, civilian pilot to realize Pearl Harbor was under attack. With civilian aviation grounded, Cornelia returned to her home in Nashville where she joined the Civil Air Patrol and continued teaching.
After joining the WAFS in September 1942, she primarily ferried Piper Cub airplanes from the factory in Lock Haven, Penn. and PT-19 airplanes from the Fairchild factory in Hagerstown, Md. On New Year’s Day 1943, she spent the night in Atlanta as she ferried a PT-19 to Vernon, Texas. One year before, Cornelia ferried a Piper Cub to Tuskegee Air Field where the Tuskegee Airmen were training.
Following the documentary screening and discussion, guests will be able to tour the Airbase Georgia hangar from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., where volunteers are restoring a PT-19 that was delivered to Tuskegee in November 1943. This historic airplane was likely ferried by a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). In August 1943, the WAFS came under the umbrella of the WASP.