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"I thought that was the most wonderful thing in the world, to be able to fly and be paid for it and to do something for the country." (Video Interview, 3:53)

   V. Scott Bradley Gough
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V. Scott Bradley Gough [2005]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots)
Service Location: Texas; Arizona
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As a young woman growing up in Los Angeles, Scottie Bradley took an interest in flying. One of her first lessons was interrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor, which grounded all civilian aircraft that day. She began traveling inland to Blythe, a desert community, where she learned to fly as part of an ambulance squadron. Her in-air experience would have qualified her for the WASP, but she had to wait to turn 21 before she could be admitted. She became Squadron Commander of her flight, and it was her duty to lead everybody in marching everywhere they went on the base. She had a close call while flying from Arizona to San Francisco in a flying formation and weather started closing in. A plane in front of her caused her to spin and she had to rely on instruments and her training to pull out.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (33 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Tried for a college scholarship but knew her ambition to be a pilot doomed her chances; her brother gave her money for flying lessons, interrupted by the Pearl Harbor attack; going to the desert to continue learning to fly; contacted Jacqueline Cochran about the WASP program; wonderful thing to paid for flying for your country; had a pilot's license but was not yet 21. (02:33) Learning to march; leading her squadron everywhere, including the mess hall; was expected to be the first to finish eating to lead the squadron out of the hall; she still finishes her meal first at any table. (00:48) Problem with having uniforms to wear; hearing of a general visiting, they bought pants, and when he didn't show, they became known as "the general's pants;" given overalls in men's sizes that were far too baggy; how a loose sleeve almost caused the death of a trainee. (01:41)
Flying from Arizona to San Francisco in three groups of three; weather closing in; leader should have turned around but didn't; plane in front her caused her to spin and she went on instruments; she loved the plane too much to bail out; recalled instructor in Sweetwater who talked them through spins when they were flying blind; got oriented by spotting a Japanese internment camp she recalled; after she landed, studied getting out of spins to make sure she understood the procedure. (03:07)  

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  October 26, 2011
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