WASP Evelyn Stewart Jackson was born February 17, 1917 on a ranch in Globe, Arizona, 80 miles east of Phoenix. Her childhood was filled with great adventures, riding horses and helping her dad tend the cattle. Since there was no running water, she would water the horses by hauling buckets from the spring. For all the hard work, there were fun jobs, roundups, rodeos and chuck wagons--just like in the movies.
Always interested in flying, she signed up to be a part of the CPT program in Globe. After completing the program, she received her private pilot license. Evelyn also attended the Desert Parachute School in Phoenix, and received her rigger's license and for a time, was employed as a parachute packer at Arizona Gliding Academy at Wickenburg, Arizona.
In 1943, she applied and was accepted for training into the WASP class of 43-W-6 and graduated, earning her silver wings October 9, 1943.
She was stationed at Enid Army Air Base, Enid, Oklahoma, a basic training base for Army Air Force cadets. At Enid, she flew basic trainers (BT-13, BT-15) as an engineering test and utility pilot.
After the WASP were deactivated, Evelyn married Frank Jackson, a ranch manager in Arizona. She enjoyed working with him and never lost her love of horses or the outdoors.
Evelyn continued to live in the home she shared with Frank after he passed away in 1984.
In November of 2001, Wings Across America traveled to Apache Junction, Arizona, where the City Manager loaned us her office in the Chamber of Commerce building. It was there we met and interviewed Evelyn, who, like many WASP, lived a private life, never boasting about her time serving her country. What a delightful experience it was to introduce the only WASP in town to the President of the Chamber of Commerce. All the city employees came out to meet Evelyn and shake her hand.
As the interview began, Evelyn gently opened the scrapbook filled with her memories of horses, flying, friends, parachutes and roundups. Even though she appeared almost frail, we soon learned of her aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and her belly dancing classes.
On that special day in November, it was an honor to spend time with this lovely and quiet lady--and I don't think she would mind at all if I add--this lady pilot--this cowgirl.
submitted by Nancy Parrish, April 18, 2008
Evelyn passed away on April 15, 2008. Information on services will be posted as it becomes available.
November 1, 1920 - April 17, 2008
"I was born November 1, 1920, in Charleston, West Virginia. I decided I wanted to fly when I was seven years old. That was when Lindberg flew across the Atlantic. It was nothing but a dream until the summer after my sophomore year at West Virginia Wesleyan. I got into the summer class at Kanawha Flying School (seaplanes) in Charleston, West Virginia, and got my private license. I graduated from Wesleyan in 1942, and worked for Thomas, Field & Co. (a wholesale dry good store) in Charleston until late February of 1943. I didn't know how they knew about me, but the WASP contacted me. i had one landing in a land plane, as all my time, 85 hours, was in seaplanes."
"I reported to Sweetwater in early March of 1943, in class 43-4. I was assigned to Camp Davis, North Carolina, for the tow target squadron. I was then sent to Liberty Field at Camp Stewart. Both were antiaircraft training bases. I flew the L-2, L-5, A-24 (SBD), A-25 (SB2C Helldivers), BT-13, and all Twin Beechcrafts, (C-45, AT-7, AT-11, B-34, PQ-8, and PQ-14. I was active in the radio control program."
"After deactivation, I worked as an aircraft communicator, CAA in Montana, Idaho and Washington. I remained active in flying during this period, but stopped when I married Ed Volkomener, January 14, 1950. Ed was in charge of maintaining the electronic aids to aviation with the FAA, until he retired in 1972. I renewed my teacher's certificate and taught in the Catholic schools in Great Falls for a few years. I also was very active in the Campfire Girls program there. I also sang in my church choir and was a soloist.
We have three children: Margaret Nygard and Mark Volkomener, both in the Great Falls, Montana area, and Lucy Linn-Mckie with US Bank in Seattle, Washington. We have six grandsons and one great granddaughter."
"We moved to "The Pines" on Fort Peck Lake when Ed retired in 1972. He died in 1984. I have remained at the lake and have been going to Corpus Christi, Texas in the winter. However, I plan to go into a retirement home in Glasgow this winter of 1998...and will keep the cabin to be out here during good weather."
"In her own words" taken from "OUT OF THE BLUE and INTO HISTORY" by WASP Betty Stagg Turner.
Martha died April 17, 2008 at the age of 87. Services are pending. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Posted by Wings Across America--honoring and remembering the WASP