Evelyn Greenblatt Howren (1918-1998) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and took her first flying lesson in 1939 while studying at Vanderbuilt University. After graduation she returned to Atlanta and became captivated with pursuing a career in flight. In 1939, she started taking flight instruction at Candler Field and received her private rating on November 3, 1941. A month later, she joined the newly-formed Civil Air Patrol and became a member of the first all-women's squadron of CAP. She remained active in CAP for many years and earned a command pilot rating.
In June 1942, she became one of the first class of eight women Air Traffic controller trainees and was one of only three who were pilots. In November of that same year she was released from her Air Traffic Controller duties to become one of thirty members of the fist class of Women's Air Service Pilots (WASPs) and was one of 23 who graduated at Ellington Field in Houston on April 24, 1943 .
She was assigned to Love Field, Dallas, Texas, then to Peterson Army Air Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She flew 30 different types military aircraft, including the B-17 and B-24.
She remained a WASP throughout the remainder of WWII ferrying planes or test flying various types of aircraft until her honorable discharge on December 20, 1944.
Evelyn later trained male pilots for military as flight instrument instructor in Colordo Springs, Colorado. Upon returning to Atlanta, she became the first woman in Georgia to open a flight school. She had started Flightways Ind. at Candler Field, with her husband, Hillman Howren. Flightways offered a charter service, flying lessons and aerial photography classes. It also featured service and repair work. They also ran an airline fueling business, Air Refuel, out of Hartsfield International Airport until their retirement in 1968, when they sold the business to Lockheed.
Throughout its years of success, Evelyn was one of the very few women, if not the only one, active in both management and flight operations of any fixed-based operation in Georgia. A member of 99s in Georgia and an organizer of the Atlanta Women's Aero Club, she flew in the All Women's Transcontinental Air Race in 1951 and was appointed a Captain the US Air Force Reserve in the same year.
As secretary-treasurer of the Georgia Aviation Trades Association from 1950-1965, she was instrumental in promoting state legislature to enhance interest and activity in Georgia aviation. In retirement they enjoyed traveling, deep-sea fishing and sailing.
Evely died Feb. 9, 1998, of lung failure, at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
|reprinted in part from Betty Turner's "Out of the Blue and Into History", p. 36.|
posted February 13, 2008