Bea St. Claire Smith Thurston, 44-W-8

"I was born in New York. I went into the class 44-8 and was stationed at Aloe Air force Base in Victoria, Texas, towing targets to live ammunition.

After deactivation, I worked for Babb Company, ferrying planes across the country. I married and we had five children, and divorced. As soon as the children were in school, I went to work teaching high school math and working as a real estate broker. I worked for a year for the government as department chairman in Brindisi, Italy.

I graduated from Penn State University in aeronautical engineering. I earned a masters from Province College in psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Barrington College.

I have traveled in every state in the US, and all over the world. I am a volunteer for Boy Scouts of America, Little League, and a Sunday sahcool teacher. I play golf and tennis, and am employed as a wedding coordinator.

I was President of Southern California WASP in 1995 and 1996. Assisted and emceed Stamp Dedication in 1996, and advisor to Southern Board 1997; assisted and emceed Colorado Springs statue dedication 1997, and Director of Region III of the WASP 1998-2000.

(Reprinted from Betty Turner's "Out of the Blue and Into History")

Memorial for Bea will be held at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY, MAY 7, 2007 at 10am.


In 2002, Bea was elected President of the WASP WWII organization.

She passed away after attending a grandson's ballgame, a few minutes after midnight, April 14th, 2007.

posted April 16, 2007