A. Gibson, nee Woodard, was born in Pickwick, Wisconsin.
Growing up in various parts of Wisconsin, she received a
Teacher’s Certificate and taught commercial subjects to High School
Students in Wisconsin.
In 1936, she went to
San Francisco, California, where she obtained employment as an office
manager for an import-export firm.
There she took an interest in flying, earning her private pilot’s
license. Later, as the
manager of a small private airport in Walnut Creek, California, she
amassed many hours of flying time in various aircraft.
She was contacted by Jacqueline Cochran, the famous aviatrix, who
asked if she wanted to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).
She accepted, and in 1943, graduated from the flight training
program run by the U. S Army.
As a rated pilot, she was one of 15 WASPs who were selected to
fly B-17 bombers. After
completing further training on other military aircraft, she flew
missions with the Air Corps in the U.S.
(WASPs did not fly overseas.)
In 1945, the WASPs were disbanded and she joined the Red Cross as
a Club Director, serving in England and Germany.
After WWII ended, she went to Japan as a Club Director with the U. S.
Army Special Services.
There she met her husband, Henry W. Gibson, a career military officer.
As a contented housewife and dedicated hostess, she traveled
extensively with her husband both in the U.S. and abroad on various Army
gracious hospitality was well known, as were her ‘special’ recipes,
which were served to numerous dignitaries and guests who visited the
Gibson home during her husband’s career.
After her husband’s retirement in 1970, they built a home in Port
They continued to travel, ‘trailering’ with their Airstream travel
trailer, and continued dispensing the hospitality for which she was so
well known for another 20 years.