The tribute to me in the first issue of The Fifinella Gazette touched me deeply and pleased me no end.

With the start of the war, I became convinced that there was a sound, beneficial place for women in the air -- not to compete with or displace the men pilots, but to supplement them -- and I never let up trying to establish in practice the birth of my belief. I flew a bomber to England partly to bring out the point, and partly to see what the English women pilots were accomplishing and how they were organized.

On my return, I worked with the General Staff of the Ferry Command for several weeks on a plan which later developed.

The time just then did not seem opportune; so, with the blessings of our own authorities, I took twenty-five women pilots to England, where they have been doing a fine job, flying operational equipment (behind the lines) including Hurricanes, Spitfires, and two-motored bombers.

Now, we are on the verge of seeing this whole dream blossom into reality in a truly big way. The women's Flyhing Training program has already approached the proportions of our entire air program prior to the start of the war.

What will be the ultimate result - good or bad - will be up to the girls themselves. You of the first classes will have the real responsibility. By your actions and results the future course will be set. You have my reputation in your hands. Also, you have my faith. I have no fear - I know you can do the job.

After graduation, I will be following you with anxious and proud eyes, and your success will be my satisfaction.

This work of mine -- planning, sitting at a desk, and working well into the night as regular routine - is no great pleasure for one who loves to have her hand on the throttle; but, it has to be done if you are to succeed. My compensation can only come from your morale and accomplishments.

-- I'm proud of you!