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CAF Loans the National WASP WWII Museum a Leather Jacket Owned by Ruth Florey

Sweetwater, TX, April 26, 2024 - At the National WASP WWII Museum 2024 Homecoming Event, members of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) WASP Squadron presented the museum with an authentic WASP leather jacket. The jacket, which has been in the Commemorative Air Force’s archives for many years, was presented to the museum on loan for display in an exhibit. The jacket belonged to Ruth Underwood Florey, a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) from class 43-W-4. Florey, a native Texan, flew A-24s and A-25s while towing targets for live 90mm guns. Some of Florey’s target practice flights were flown at night or low altitudes, both particularly dangerous tasks. Florey became a member of the Commemorative Air Force in 1991, participating with the West Texas Wing. She passed away in April 2007.

CAF WASP Squadron Leader Ellie Dana and Historian Elaine Webb delivered the jacket to the National WASP WWII Museum, along with two of Ruth’s sons, Ben and Joe, and their respective sons, Ruth’s grandsons. As the photos were taken, Ben remarked, "The family is so excited; we have been sending them updates all evening.”

Lisa Taylor, the Executive Director of the National WASP WWII Museum, said, “While we can Google almost anything, the WASP Museum allows real connection to and inspiration from the WASP, their contributions to our nation and aviation history.”

Throughout the WASP Homecoming weekend, several CAF members were present to participate in the programs and honor the WASP’ legacy. Those members included Jordan Drischler (Education Officer), Curt Lewis (Operations Officer), Jan Johnson, Matt Moore, Emily Friend, Mary Berg, and Barbara Wenzel. Special guests and friends of the CAF WASP Squadron included Kathy Olszewski, the daughter of WASP Jane Doyle, and Hunter Reiley, the spouse of late CAF WASP Squadron member Devyn Reiley, who performed an Honor Flight in memory of Devyn.

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