|Born||9 Jan 1919|
|Died||6 Feb 2010|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseMildred Darlene Tuttle was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, United States to Ralph and Beatrice Tuttle; she often went by her nickname Micky. When she was a child, a neighbor who was a part of the Inman Brothers Barnstorming Flying Circus gave her a ride in a Curtiss Jenny biplane, which began her fascination with aviation. She graduated from Field Kinley High School in 1936, then enrolled in Coffeyville Community College to study mathematics and chemistry. In 1938, she transferred to Kansas State University. She received her college degree with a teaching certificate in 1940. She soon became a chemistry professor at Coffeyville Community College. In the same year, 1940, she obtained her pilot's license and attended the Civilian Pilot Training program at Coffeyville Community College; she was the only woman in the class. In Jun 1941, she married David "Wayne" Axton and adopted her husband's last name. The couple settled down in Wichita, Kansas.
ww2dbaseIn 1943, Mildred Axton joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 43-W-7 training class. Upon completion of the training, she was posted to Pecos Army Airfield Base in Texas, United States. In early 1944, her mother became ill, and she quit the WASP program in Apr to be near her. Returning to Kansas, she was hired as a flight test engineer by the Boeing aircraft factory in Wichita. In May 1944, she became the first woman to fly a B-29 Superfortress bomber as her chief flight engineer allowed her to fly the aircraft for 20 to 25 minutes.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Axton taught at the East High School in Wichita between 1958 and 1969, while also being an active member of the Commemorative Air Force for 40 years. She passed away in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States in 2010.
Last Major Revision: Mar 2011
Mildred Axton Timeline
|9 Jan 1919||Mildred Tuttle was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, United States.|
|1 Jun 1941||Mildred Tuttle married David Axton and took her husband's last name.|
|6 Feb 2010||Mildred Axton passed away in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States.|
|10 Mar 2010||Mildred Axton was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945