WWII "WASP" Honored with Freedom Wing Flyover

  • Published
  • By Mr. Daniel Pensiero

The 514th Air Mobility Wing conducted a flyover to honor former female World War II aviator and New Jersey native Kathleen Hilbrandt, on Saturday 14 August.   

During the mission a crew led by Col. William H. Gutermuth, Commander, 514th Air Mobility Wing, conducted a regularly scheduled training sortie aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft before flying over the funeral of 96-year-old Hilbrandt. 

A trailblazing female veteran and World War II aviator.  Hilbrandt was a member of a group of only 1,100 women who comprised the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPS, and flew aircraft during the war. 

“It was an honor to pay respects to a fellow aviator and veteran with such an impact on military history, Gutermuth said.  “Her service to our great nation will not be forgotten.”

Hilbrandt was originally scheduled to be laid to rest in May of 2020, according to Carolyn Farmer, Hilbrandt’s great niece. However, due to COVID restrictions the funeral was delayed.  Joining the 514th was a procession of bikers and local veterans groups.