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First Name: Cornelia

Last Name: Fort

Birthplace: East Nashville, TN, USA

Gender: Female

Branch: Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) - Includes WFTD, WAFS

Middle Name: Clark

Date of Birth: 05 February 1919

Date of Death: 21 March 1943


Years Served: 1941 - 1943
Cornelia Clark Fort

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Cornelia Clark Fort
Pilot, Woman's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron

Cornelia Clark Fort was born on 5 February 1919 in East Nashville, TN, the daughter of a prominent East Nashville physician.

Her father made her brothers swear that they would never fly, but he overlooked Cornelia. She first soloed on 27 April 1940, and received her pilot's license on 19 June. She received her instructors rating on 10 March 1941.

Cornelia was Nashville's first woman flight instructor. On 7 December 1941, Cornelia was giving a flying lesson over Honolulu, HI, and witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. She was the second woman to join the Woman's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), precursor to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP).

Cornelia was killed on 21 March 1943 while ferrying a BT-13A when it collided with another plane over Merkel, TX, and crashed. She was the first WAFS pilot to die in the line of duty.


Cornelia Fort Airport in Nashville, TN, was named in her honor in 1945.

Death and Burial

Cornelia Clark Fort was killed on 21 March 1943 over Merkel, TX. She is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, TN.


Honoree ID: 2756   Created by: MHOH




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