Elizabeth L. Remba Gardner Elizabeth L. Remba Gardner - ImagesGram

Elizabeth L. Remba Gardner

Harlingen Army Air Field, Texas--Elizabeth L. Remba Gardner of Rockford, Illinois, WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots), Class: 43-W-6, takes a look around before sending her plane streaking down the runway at the Harlingen Army Airfield, Texas, ca. 1930–1975. Note: Almost certainly this dates from 1942–1944, part of project of having women pilots move aircraft on the home front to free up more male pilots for combat duty. There is a cropped image with the same file name.

Elizabeth L. Gardner (1921 – December 22, 2011) was an American pilot during World War II who served as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She was one of the first American female military pilots and the subject of a well-known photograph, sitting in the pilot's seat of a Martin B-26 Marauder.
In 2009, the 300 living WASP pilots were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal through a unit citation.

Early life and family

Gardner was born in Rockford, Illinois, in 1921. She graduated from Rockford High School in 1939. She was a mother and housewife before the war started.  After she married, she took the last name Remba.

Military career

Upon enlisting as a WASP member, Gardner "had two days of training under Lieutenant Col. Paul Tibbets, who later commanded the B-29 that dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima".[9][11] She was the subject of an often-reproduced historical photo when she was about 22; the original is held at the National Archives. The photograph became emblematic of the place of women in the service of their country.

Gardner flew Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers, including the AT-23 trainer version of the bomber. One of her stations was in Dodge City, Kansas. She was trained as a test pilot and flight instructor, and she also flew aircraft that towed aerial targets.
After years of fighting for recognition of their military service, WASP members were recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.