‘Proud link to Rockford,’ Muralists rediscover female WWII-era pilot history nearly forgot

Muralists Jenny Roesel Ustick and Atalie Gagnet discovered Elizabeth “Libby” Gardner’s story while researching for the Rockford CRE8IV art festival. Gardner, a 1939 graduate from Rockford High School, flew for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) during World War II. The WASP Archive at Texas Woman’s University provided a photo of Gardner in a B-26 Marauder. The mural at 221 E. State Street is based on the photo. Source: Rockford Register Star, May 19, 2019

W. A. S. P., Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol

W.A.S.P, the Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol, began in Rockford on April 3, 1940, founded by Rockford women. Some 200 Rockford women were involved in this home front war effort. These women stood ready to fill the roles vacated by the men serving in the military during World War II. This photograph was taken in the basement of the National Guard Armory. Photo courtesy Lou Paoli.

Henry E Crow Obituary- 1920-2016

Source: Rockford Register Star   12/20/2016

Marian D. Campbell, 1919-2018 – Obituary

Marian D. Campbell, 1919-2018 – Obituary

 

 

 

Source: Rockford Register Star      8/28/2018

 

 

Source: East High School Yearbook 1976

John William Shesler, DDS – obituary, Oct. 2017

Source:  Rockford Register Star, Oct. 24, 2017