Janet Wayne Tuch--WASP 44-W-9

Dear WASP's,

It is with my deepest sorrow that we have a lost a great person, mother and WASP.  Janet E. Wayne (Tuch), 44-W-9 passed away on July 28, 2004.

Her fondest memory of life itself was having been in the elite group.  She was buried in the town in which she lived for 40 years, Barrington Illinois.  She was attired in her WASP uniform, with the air Force Color Guard performing military services and presenting the flag to my sister.  The WASP emblem is being placed upon her monument.

Most recently she enjoyed the WASP "Rap" song.

Printed below is a document that her son-in-law had written on her behalf years ago and was read at the funeral service.


William G. Tuch, KOW and son


Like most of us, I always wanted to fly. As a child, I sent in cereal box tops in order to receive little "cub wings" which I still have. After graduation from High School, I completed the Civil Pilots' Training course and earned my Private License. During my second year at college, I read about the WASP program and of course wrote immediately, requesting acceptance.  The coveted telegram from General "Hap" Arnold informing me to report to Avenger Field at Sweetwater, Texas, arrived in March, 1944.

After a long trip on an antique train from Chicago to Sweetwater, I arrived to an over-booked hotel.  The next morning I caught my first glimpse of Avenger where two "6''s had collided in the traffic pattern the previous day and had been pulled off to a nearby field. But I was young, fearless and, of course, immortal, as we all were.

My most terrifying flight experience came on our 500 mile cross-country flight from Avenger to Blyth, California. After making a fuel stop at Deming, New Mexico, we headed for our next stop, Tucson, Arizona.  A thunder and lightening storm suddenly loomed ahead of us.  Most of the girls and instructors turned back to Deming. Others landed in the desert. Not realizing how dangerous the storm was becoming, I flew on and became lost among the mountain peaks north of Tucson with lightening, rain, and darkness surrounding me.  Fortunately, we had completed our instrument training.  I tuned into the Tucson radio range station and miraculously found the beam that guided me into Tucson. No one else flew in that night and rather than continue to Blyth the next day, we were told to return to Sweetwater.  I am sure that some of our members remember that X-country and their own experiences.  At that point in my life, I eliminated the word "fearless" and substituted the word "stupid."  (I have also eliminated the words "young" and "immortal" from my vocabulary.)

After graduation, Francis Stroud and I were assigned to Craig Air Force Base near Selma, Alabama.  It was an advanced training and engineering headquarters.  We did engine testing and some weather reconnaissance.  We transported "AT6"s to the Ease Coast and flew terrified Air Force personnel to various parts of the country during the next few remaining months.  Then in December it was time to go home and back to reality.

I met my husband while I was employed as a secretary in an Airline Transport Rating school near Chicago.  He was a Trans World Airline pilot, flying both domestic and international routs. Thanks to airline personnel benefit6s, he and I and our two children traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia.

We moved to the country and raised our lovely daughter and rather rambunctious young son. During our "growing up" years, we acquired four horses, two dongs, and various wild critters which somehow managed to "follow the children home."

As I reminisce, I think back again to our younger flying days of spins and loops, slow rolls, snap rolls, and chandelles.  I will always be grateful for the training, experience, and mostly the friendships while belonging to our unique WASP organization.

Janet Wayne Tuch