Women in Aviation: Nancy Harkness Love

Nancy Harkness Love was born on February 14th, 1914 in Houghton, Michigan. At an early age, she developed an interest in aviation and earned her pilot’s license at the age of 16 and two years later he commercial license. She married an Air Corps Reserve Major, Robert M Love and together they built a successful aviation company.

During the war, Nancy Love, convinced Col. Tunner of using experienced women pilots to supplement the existing pilot force and was instrumental in recruiting 29 expereinced women pilots to join the newly created Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS). Nancy Love became their Commander and in September, 1942, the women pilots began flying at New Castle Army Air Field, Wilmington, Delaware, under ATC’s 2nd Ferrying Group.

The WAFS’ number greatly increased with the addition of graduates of the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. and in 1943 the WAFS merged with the WFTD and became the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) with Nancy Love named the Executive for all WASP ferrying operations. Under her command, female pilots flew almost every type military aircraft then in the Army Air Force’s arsenal.

At the end of the war she was awarded the Air Medal for her Operational Leadership in training and assignment of 300 female pilots in advanced military aircraft. She died on October 22, 1976.

March is Woman History Month and Woman of Aviation Month.

See Also:

Nancy Harkness Love Bio

Fly Girls – Nancy Harkness Love

Woman in Aviation and Space History