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Alumna pilot to receive parade fly-over honor

Nov. 12, 1999

By JOHN DRAKE

Staff Writer

This year, Baylor's Homecoming Parade is moving to the sky.

At 9:15 a.m., four World War II airplanes will fly over Waco to pay tribute to alumni who have served in the various wars this century.

More specifically, the fly-over is honoring Ruth Helm, a 1937 graduate and the only Baylor alumna to have served in the Women Air Force Service Pilots in World War II.

The WASP were the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. Of 25,000 applicants, 1,830 were accepted and 1,074 made it through training. Fewer than 600 are alive today.

Although the WASP did not participate in overseas combat, they served in the war by ferrying planes and towing targets that the male fighter pilots used for target practice.