The Army currently does not permit Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery

In March, Betty Strohfus of Faribault, one of the last remaining WASPs passed away; bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate this week would allow WASPs to be buried at Arlington

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that the Senate has passed bipartisan legislation she supported to allow female Word World War II pilots to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The Army currently does not permit Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) to be buried at Arlington. In March, Elizabeth “Betty” Strohfus, a native of Faribault, who was one of the last remaining WASPs passed away at the age of 96. Klobuchar has advocated to the Secretaries of Defense and the Army to allow the brave women who flew missions during World War II to have their ashes laid to rest at Arlington. The Senate legislation that passed will now go to the House for passage before being sent to the President to be signed into law.

“During World War II, more than 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) served in the United States military. While we can’t change history, we can change how they’re honored,” Klobuchar said. “I had the honor of getting to know one WASP, Betty Strohfus of Faribault, who passed away at the age of 96 earlier this year. While Betty wanted to be buried with her family, she stood up for her WASP sisters and fought for them to have the same rights as other veterans and to be given the option to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This action in the Senate is a major step forward to allow these brave women to be buried at Arlington. I am hopeful the House will pass this legislation quickly so it can go to the President to be signed into law.”

 

Klobuchar has been a strong advocate for allowing WASPs to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Klobuchar sent a letter in January to the Secretaries of Defense and Army requesting that the Army allow the brave women who flew missions during World War II to have their ashes laid to rest at the cemetery. Klobuchar met with Strohfus in Faribault in January to discuss this issue with her. Strohfus, a native of Faribault, taught male cadets how to fly warplanes and ferried B-17 bombers across the country during World War II.

###