They took to the skies and flew aircraft all over the country, so male pilots could serve overseas.
Family and friends are preparing to honor the life and service of a Woman Air Force Service Pilot or WASP — a member of the Greatest Generation — Marion Hodgson.
“Her service to her just meant being one with her countrymen and doing everything she could do and enjoying it while she did it,” Hodgson’s daughter, Marjorie Parker, said.
Hodgson passed away Thursday, leaving behind Parker, two sons, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“She cherished us. Loved us. Made us feel so important,” Parker said.
Beyond a family woman, Parker also called her a barefoot business woman, who taught them so much.
“So it made me want to be all God created me to be, just the way she was…. not feel like were any stereotypes that I had to meet,” Parker said.
“Airplanes don’t know the difference between a man and a woman,” Hodgson said in a 2009 interview.
Hodgson got her pilot’s license while attending college and wanted to put it to good use.
“She didn’t have enough hours to be a WASP. And she went to work in Chicago, waiting for them to drop the number of required hours to be able to be one,” Parker said.
“We were at war. Our country had been attacked. And they needed pilots desperately,” Hodgson had said.
Hodgson is in the Texas and Georgia Aviation Halls of Fame and was also awarded a congressional gold medal.
Parker said her hero, her mother, thought her service was an honor.
“Her faith was so important to her. She said she always felt like her days as a WASP were an honor that she didn’t deserve, but it was just like grace. She said we don’t deserve God’s grace, but we get it,” Parker said.
“It’s like god’s grace – it’s completely undeserved, as far as I’m concerned. And free,” Hodgson had said. “So it’s a wonderful surprise and an honor. And I’ll take it!”
A memorial service for Hodgson will be at 11 a.m. on Friday at Lunn’s Colonial Funeral Home.