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First Name: Gertrude

Last Name: Silver

Birthplace: Jersey City, NJ, USA

Gender: Female

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

Middle Name: Vreeland

Maiden Name: Thompkins

Date of Birth: 16 October 1912

Date of Death: 26 October 1944 (Presumed)


Years Served:
Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins Silver

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins Silver
Woman Airforce Service Pilot (WASP)

Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins was born on 16 October 1912 in Jersey City, NJ.

Silver learned to fly at an early age. She reported to Avenger Field at Sweetwater, TX, in June 1943 to begin training to become a Woman Airforce Service Pilot (WASP). She graduated on 13 November 1943 and was stationed at Love Field, Dallas, TX, with the 5th Ferrying Group. She belonged to an elite group of about 1,100 female pilots formed during World War II, who ferried new warplanes destined for battle in Europe or the Pacific.

On 26 October 1944, she and 40 other pilots were briefed on ferrying new P-51s from the North American Aviation factory at Mines Field, Los Angeles Municipal Airport, Inglewood, CA, to Coolidge Field, AZ. Although only a light haze, there was fog reported over Santa Monica Bay when she took off at 15:42 in aircraft number 669. On 30 October 1944, her home station at Love Field, TX, reported her and P-51 669 missing. A massive air search was launched, but no trace of her or her plane was ever found.

Even as late as 8 June 1994, the HQ for Air Force Safety Agency conducted a search and reported that no wreckage of this accident has been located. Silver is the only WASP never to be accounted for.

One month before her disappearance, she was married to Hollywood producer, Henry M. Silver.

Death and Burial

Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins Silver died on 26 October 1944. Her body is lost at sea.

Honoree ID: 3083   Created by: MHOH




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