This article is reprinted from Woman Pilot Magazine:
If you run into Caro Bayley Bosca, be sure to ask her about her experiences in the WASP and about flying a Piper Cub Supercruiser to 30,023 feet. That’s right, she took a Cub to over thirty thousand feet in 1951. But in case you don’t get a chance to meet her, I’ll tell you a little something about her.
To celebrate her graduation from college, Caro’s Dad paid for her flight training because he knew she had a “yearning to fly.” Caro worked in the message office at Patterson Field and built up her flight time and experience. When Jacqueline Cochran began training women for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), Caro says, “I couldn’t believe my luck!” Part of her motivation to join the WASP came “in wanting to do something for the war effort. If I had not loved flying so, I would have done something else for the war effort. Since this program opened up I would have volunteered for free!” Caro became part of class 43-W-7 and trained with her fellow WASP in Sweetwater, Texas.
After graduating from WASP training, Caro went with twenty other women from 43-7 to Mather Field in Sacramento for B-25 school. She remembers, “We all got along fine and it was good training and experience.” From Mather, Caro and nine others headed to El Paso, Texas “to work with the tow target squadron working with the radar school at Ft. Bliss.” They carried out a variety of duties in a number of different planes. “We had radar tracking (lots of it), search light tracking simulation strafing, gassing, non-flying personnel flights (observing), and some sleeve towing.” Each mission called for a different plane and they flew everything from the Douglas Dauntless (SBD and A24), and Curtis Helldiver (SB2C and A-25), to the Republic Thunderbolt (P-47). The P47 was their first pursuit plane. The day that Caro was supposed to fly it for the first time she had bursitis in her shoulder so bad she couldn’t do her hair, but when she went to breakfast and was asked how her shoulder was she said, “Just fine, just fine,” because she didn’t want to give up her turn to fly.