Ola Mildred Rexroat

A photo of WASP Ola Mildred Rexroat, of the Ogala Sioux (August 28, 1917 – June 28, 2017), who was the only Native American woman to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

Ola Mildred "Rexy" Rexroat was looking for a way to do her part in the war effort in the 1940s. Being a riveter seemed too dangerous, she said, so she opted for a different path: being a military pilot, one who towed targets for other pilots to shoot at.

One day a superior flipped her the keys to a jeep to retrieve a training target in a field after she landed one day.

"This was a big problem for me, because I didn't know how to drive," Rexroat said. "I had never learned how to drive a car. I don't think anybody trusted me with a car, but I could fly a plane.

"Asked if she ever worried about the dangers of flying or getting shot, Rexroat shrugged.

"I never gave it a thought. You couldn't worry about things like that. ... You can't live forever," she said. "They checked the target after we came down, and of course, it was to our credit if it had lots of holes in it; that meant we had been maintaining our altitude and heading."
Date & Place:
Aug 28, 1917 - 2017
Updated Jan 14, 2019

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