Patricia A. (Bowser) Gibson   WASP 43-W-6

 b. May 21, 1911
d. February 23, 2007


Patricia 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 assignments.  Her 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 Townsend, Washington.  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.


WASP Class picture, 43-W-6

In 1990, they moved to a Retirement Community in Tacoma, and, later, to Patriot’s Landing, a military focused retirement community in Dupont, Washington.

  Patricia was predeceased by her two brothers and one sister.  She is survived by a daughter, Aurora Toth, and her husband, Henry W. Gibson.

  Interment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Washington.  The family requests NO FLOWERS.