MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota woman who served as an Airforce Service Pilot in World War II has a new fight. The 96-year-old wants Women Airforce Service Pilots to be able to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Elizabeth “Betty” Strohfus served in 1943 and 1944. The Faribault native flew eight different aircraft and taught men in the military how to fly.
She met with Senator Amy Klobuchar on Saturday to discuss allowing Women Airforce Service Pilots — or WASPs — to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
The army recently reversed their policy to allow WASPs to have their ashes buried there.
“It means a lot to me to be treated as the other veterans are treated,” Strohfus said. “You know, we haven’t been treated like the other veterans, and I think it’s too bad. We were kind of like the off-shot — if they needed us, they’d come and get us. But otherwise they didn’t really want women to fly.”
Sen. Klobuchar expressed a great admiration for Strohfus and her service.
“She was someone who answered the call to duty, but she was also a pioneer, and she should be honored for that,” Klobuchar said.
Senator Klobuchar sent a letter to the Secretaries of Defense and Army this week asking to allow WASPs to have their ashes buried at Arlington. She said if that is not enough, they have introduced a bill to help change it.