Wall of Honor Location:
Foil: 3 Panel: 1 Column: 3 Line: 85
Wall of Honor Level:
Air and Space Friend
Ms. Betty J. Williams
SUMMARY of the career of Betty Jane Williams, LtCol, USAF (Ret):
Colonel Williams was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in World War II (WWII). She was actively involved in aviation and space and related fields since 1940. From private pilot to military pilot to commercial pilot and flight instructor; from Link Trainer Instructor to airline stewardess; from technical aerospace writer to aviation motion picture/TV writer-director of missile systems, military weapon systems, tactical military aircraft, and commercial airliners, working with private industry, general aviation, the airlines, the aerospace industry and the military.
A participant, and in some cases a pioneer, in most phases of aviation, from Piper Cubs to P-40s, fromT-33 jet trainers to F-104s and missiles, from DC-3s to L-1011 airliners, not only flying them, but writing and speaking about them, helping to sell, advertise or promote them and aviation in general.
She was born in 1919 in Kingston, PA and died on 8 December 2008 in Woodland Hills, CA.
1941 -- Earned private pilot's license, competing with 50 males in the non-college Civilian Pilot Training Program sponsored by the federal government. Pennsylvania scholarship
1942 - Airline stewardess, Canadian Colonial Airlines. General aviation 500 miles inland from both coasts. Grounded after Pearl Harbor bombing Dec 7, 1941, this was the only way I could remain airborne.
After six months the airline sent me to Northeast Airlines Pilot Training School, University of Vermont, to become a licensed Link Trainer Instructor, teaching instrument flight techniques to the military and airline pilots. This was the beginning of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), when the military came to airlines, asking their assistance in teaching transport operations to military. Betty Jane was under contract for a year in the Wartime Training Service as a Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) licensed Link Trainer Instructor.
1944 - Women Air Force Service Pilot (WASP), engineering test pilot for the Army Air Forces stationed at Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas, flew PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-7, AT-10, UC-78, P-40. WASP Program was deactivated Dec 20, 1944.
1945-1948 - Commercial Pilot, flight instructor, North American Airport Corporation, Westchester County Airport, White Plains, N.Y. Head of ground school as well,
1948-52 - Aerospace engineering technical writer, North American Aviation. Wrote the Flight Operations Manual on the 4-engine jet bomber, the B-45, as well as Maintenance Manuals and Visual Instruction Charts on several military aircraft. Wrote several motion picture training films on the F-86 jet fighter, T-28, etc.
1952-1953 - Called to active duty in the Air Force (Korean War) pioneer development of television medium for the military. Produced training, maintenance, and motivational programs. Received a direct commission, based upon flying in World War II.
1954-1974 - Motion picture/TV writer-director-producer (20 yrs). Lockheed Missile Company and Lockheed Aircraft Company. Wrote, directed, and produced more than 100 films on aerospace products, missiles (early part of missile program in this country) military aircraft (F-104, P2V anti-submarine warfare), many research/development designs, helicopters, commercial airlines, L-1011, supersonic designs, corporate image, etc. Head of Film/TV for Market Development Dept.
Subsequent years - Active in Air Force as Public Affairs Officer. Retired as LtColonel, Mobilization Assignee, working with all branches of media, film/TV and print, in support of the United States Air Force.
- National President of WASP WWII 1948-1949.
- President Southern California WASP 1998-1999.
- Aerospace films awarded 12 National Honors within USA
- Named "Woman of Achievement in California" by the State Business and Professional Women - 1966
- Featured in 1976 edition "The World's Who's Who of Women" published by International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England
- Pioneer Woman of the Year, 1993as recognized by Los Angeles City Council
- Honored by International Forest of Friendship, June 1996 for Exceptional Contribution to Aviation
- Inducted into CINDY Hall of Fame, one of first film producers so honored for outstanding aerospace motion pictures, 1996
- Created, was master of ceremonies, and-produced first aviation network TV show from New York City (CBS promoting aviation to the general public ). Produced subsequent TV program for NBC, New York in 1946