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01/20/2010

Claire L. Walters told men at war how to fly a B-24 bomber. They were not amused.

January 20, 2010 |  4:08 pm

Claire Walters Reader Bill Warnock followed up his e-mail regarding my obituary of pilot and flight instructor Claire L. Walters with another recollection: “When I went through the sheriff’s academy back in 1970 (Hamilton County, Ohio), our psychology instructor told us, ‘Men hear, women listen.’ Valerie, that is so true.”

Here’s what Warnock had to say about some choice Walters advice to World War II-era pilots:

While stationed at Andersen AFB, Guam, I was told by my boss that Walters flew B-24 when Army Air Corps pilots were terrified of it because of numerous fatal accidents.

According to my boss, a former B-24 pilot, Walters advised: “You have to listen to the aircraft, it will tell you what’s going on. Treat it like a woman and listen to her.” Needless to say it made her as popular as a skunk at a tea party.

Remember when the first all-female Air Force Reserve crew flew a C-5 to Germany nonstop? There was not a single hitch. There was a lot of jeering prior to takeoff, none upon landing or upon return.

Warm regards,

Bill Warnock
Haymarket, Va.

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photo: Claire L. Walters ran a flight school in Santa Monica and co-founded the annual Palms to Pines air race for women.

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