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Elaine Harmon, Female WWII Pilot, Finally Laid to Rest at Arlington Cemetery

Date Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Category: History/Heritage - National

On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, World War II Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) Elaine Harmon, 95 years old when she died, was inurned at Arlington National Cemetery only because her family fought the former Army Secretary John McHugh's decision that WASPs should have never been granted eligibility to be buried at the cemetery. His ruling came about when Army officials became worried about increasingly limited cemetery space. To overcome the Army's decision and while Harmon's ashes remained in a bedroom closet, a congressional act was passed and in May 2016, President Obama signed into law legislation permitting WASPs to be inurned at the Arlington Cemetery. Leading up to this legislation, Harmon's family initiated a petition on Change.org which received more than 175,000 signatures. WASPs flew military aircraft during World War II to free up men for combat missions. WASPs were not granted military status when they flew dangerous missions, but in 1977 they received retroactive veteran status.

Read the full article at: NBC News