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Fort, Cornelia Clark

Rank and Name, Civilian Cornelia Clark Fort.

Unit/Placed in, 6th Ferrying Group, Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Service WAFS and Women Airforce Service Pilots WASP.



Cornelia is born on 5 February 1919 in East Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.

Father, Rufus Elijah Fort.

Mother, Louise (Clark) Fort.

Sister(s), Louise Clark Fort.

Brother(s), Rufus Elijah, Dudley Clark and Garth Edmund Fort.


Cornelia died when her plane collided midair her left wing was damaged, and the plane spun in and was destroyed in the crash. on, 21 March 1943  she is honored with a United States Aviator Badge (Army), Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, WW II Victory Medal.


Cornelia is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA.


Thanks to, https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/119657


Jean Louis Vijgen, ww2-Pacific.com ww2-europe.com

Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.

ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov

Marines Info, https://missingmarines.com/    Geoffrey Roecker

Seabees History Bob Smith  https://seabeehf.org/

Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org

POW Info, http://www.mansell.com    Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.

Philippine Info, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/ Robert Capistrano

Navy Seal Memorial,  http://www.navysealmemorials.com

Family Info, https://www.familysearch.org

WW2 Info, https://www.pacificwrecks.com/

Medals Info, https://www.honorstates.org

Medals Forum, https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/

Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com

Tank Destroyers, http://www.bensavelkoul.nl/

WordPress en/of Wooncommerce oplossingen, https://www.siteklusjes.nl/

Military Recovery,  https://www.dpaa.mil/

TWS Roll of Honor, togetherweserved.com


Cornelia C. Fort was a young civilian flight instructor from Tennessee. On the morning of December 7, 1941, she took off from John Rodgers Airport in Honolulu with a student. Fort noticed a military plane approaching from the sea. Suddenly, she realized that the plane was headed straight towards her on a collision course. Fort wrenched the controls from her student and managed to pull up just in time to avoid a collision. Just then, she noticed the red sun symbol on the plane and saw smoke rising over Pearl Harbor. Fort had just witnessed American’s entry into WWII. The following year, Fort joined the newly established Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Service (WAFs). She was thrilled to join the war effort and flew planes from factories to military airbases. Her work freed up male pilots for combat missions. On March 21, 1943, Fort was ferrying an airplane to Love Field in Dallas when another male pilot’s landing gear clipped her plane, sending it plummeting to earth. Fort died on impact. She was one of 38 female pilots who died flying military airplanes during the war.




She first soloed on April 27, 1940, and received her pilot’s license on June 19, 1940. Cornelia became Nashville’s first woman flight instructor.


While conducting a civilian training flight at Pearl Harbor, she was the first US pilot to encounter the Japanese air fleet during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and narrowly escaped a strafing attack after landing.


The next year, Fort became the second member of what became the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and was working as a ferry pilot when she became the first female pilot in American history to die on active duty.


Stationed at the 6th Ferrying Group base at Long Beach, California, Cornelia Fort became the first WAFS fatality[9] on March 21, 1943 when another plane being ferried by a male pilot struck the left wing of the BT-13 she was ferrying in a mid-air collision ten miles south of Merkel, Texas.


Her aircraft spun and fell to the desert floor below with a very violent impact that shattered the aircraft and Cornelia’s body to the degree that little was recovered from the crash site.

Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron
Female World War II Pilot Proud to be a WASP
Cornelia Clark Fort
Hamilton Airfield, California
Cornelia Fort Airport Historical Marker - Cornelia Fort Airport in Nashville was named in her honor in 1945.
Army Aviator Badge
Her grave in Tennessee