Female WWII Pilot Will Finally Be Laid to Rest at Arlington

A year after her death at age 95, female World War II pilot Elaine Harmon will be laid to rest Wednesday—with honors—at Arlington National Cemetery. Harmon was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), a group that flew military vehicles on noncombat missions during the war. At the time, none of the women were granted military status. In 1977, Harmon and others received retroactive status and officially were designated as veterans. The women were initially permitted to have their ashes inurned at the national cemetery, but Army officials last year excluded the WASPs over concerns about space. The fight became publicized when Harmon’s family fought the rule. Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican and a retired Air Force pilot, sponsored legislation on the issue and it was enacted in May, giving WASP veterans the right to be laid to rest at the cemetery.