At 94, Betty Strohfus Boards Another B-17 - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

At 94, Betty Strohfus Boards Another B-17

Posted: Updated:

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) -The AirExpo at Flying Cloud Airport is truly for aviation enthusiasts of all ages, but possibly one of the oldest veterans at the show has earned her stripes in more ways than one.

Her excitement is contagious. Chatting about flying with 94-year-old Liz “Betty” Strohfus, it's hard to believe she first took to the skies more than 7 decades ago.

“20 years old, it was love at first sight,” she said.

Betty, as she's better known, was living in her hometown of Faribault when a spot opened up at the local sky club.

“They were so good to me -- me and 17 fellas!,” she said, “This fella was giving people flights, so he would take them up about 3,000 feet and do a spin and they'd say ‘down,’ so we did a spin, I said, ‘One more time.’ Well, after about 10 one more times. He was sick. I wasn't,” she recalled.

Soon after that the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Betty enlisted in 1943 and out of 25,000 applicants.. She was one of just 1,800 picked to be a Woman Air Force Service Pilot or “WASP.”

Eager to share her stories whenever she can, Strohfus co-piloted 8 different aircraft during WWII.

“I realized at about age 12 or 13 she was the only person in town that could fly B-17 or B-26 I thought everybody's mother's did those things,” her son Art Strohfus said.

AirExpo organizers ended up making special arrangements for her. And when her son told her she would be hopping aboard another B-17 on Saturday, she was downright giddy. The heavy bomber built in the 30s was just the way she remembered.

“Boy, there’s a lot of bullets, they sure are pretty but they do terrible things,” she remarked. “I love this ride. I don't think I’ll leave the airplane.”

Closing her eyes and enjoying the rumble of the engine and the ride, Strohfus has a lot to be proud of. After WASPS had been ignored for decades, it was Strohfus who helped lobby Congress to make sure women of her era were recognized as veterans.

“Oh, I got the memories. Thank God I can still remember them.”

  • Spotlight StoriesMore>>

  • Bride saves groom from falling off cliff

    Bride saves groom from falling off cliff

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:16 AM EDT2014-09-16 07:16:08 GMT
    A woman saved her husband's life after he lost his balance during their vow renewal ceremony.
    A woman saved her husband's life after he lost his balance during their vow renewal ceremony.
  • School Asks Teen To Change Out of 'Virginity Rocks' T-Shirt

    School Asks Teen To Change Out of 'Virginity Rocks' T-Shirt

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 07:03:08 GMT
    An Arkansas junior high school made a teenage girl change out of a T-shirt that reads “Virginity Rocks” because, according to the school, the shirt could raise awkward questions about sex and any potentially disruptive clothing is banned.
    An Arkansas junior high school made a teenage girl change out of a T-shirt that reads “Virginity Rocks” because, according to the school, the shirt could raise awkward questions about sex and any potentially disruptive clothing is banned.
  • Kent State University blasts red-stained sweatshirt sold by Urban Outfitters

    Kent State University blasts red-stained sweatshirt sold by Urban Outfitters

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:28 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:28:05 GMT
    A sweatshirt being sold by Urban Outfitters featuring fake blood stains and tattered edges with the logo of Kent State University, where four students were killed in a 1970 incident that shocked America, is “beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life,” university officials said.
    A sweatshirt being sold by Urban Outfitters featuring fake blood stains and tattered edges with the logo of Kent State University, where four students were killed in a 1970 incident that shocked America, is “beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life,” university officials said.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices