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Gloria Heath

WASP Gloria Heath competed against 25,000 applicants to become one of 1,074 women selected to be part of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). Heath was stationed at Pocatello, Idaho, where she flew B-26 bombers at 6,000 feet, towing targets for P-47 fighter pilots who trained by firing live ammunition. Her contributions to aviation didn’t stop when she left the U.S. Army Air Forces following the war. Most notably, the Federal Aviation Administration endorsed her recommendation for electronic locator beacons in civil aircraft, and by 1972, it was a requirement. Heath also shaped the development of today’s worldwide satellite search and rescue system. Her efforts were critical to the development of the United Nations Declaration of the International Decade for Disaster Prevention. For her contributions, Heath has been awarded the Barbour International Air Safety Award (1965), the Women in Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award (1995), and the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame (1999). Heath was named one of the 100 most influential women in aviation at the 100th Anniversary of Flight and was awarded The Congressional Gold Medal for WASP (2009).