Off beat Vancouver womans legacy honored in Air Force ad campaign

first_imgA Vancouver woman is part of a national TV campaign sponsored by the U.S. Air Force.Blanche Bross is among the history-making aviators featured in the Air Force’s public service spot, “100 years of Military Aviation.”About 12 seconds into the video, four women appear, with a B-17 bomber looming behind them. The woman on the right is Bross.The image on TV seems to be digitally borrowed from an iconic photograph taken during World War II, when Bross was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs.Bross died in 2008 at the age of 92. But that photograph of four women striding confidently toward the camera in their leather jackets and flight boots has a life of its own.A few years ago, Bross told a Columbian reporter that she doesn’t remember the day the photograph was taken, but it’s her favorite. It’s since shown up in all kinds of advertisements and in all kinds of museums.“It just started appearing and appearing,” Bross said.The bomber has changed, however, In the photograph, “Pistol Packin’ Mama” is painted on the nose of the B-17. In the Air Force video, the plane’s nose is a clean slate — and it’s pointed in the other direction.Bross and Washougal’s Helen Johnson, who died in November at the age of 94, were among 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots who flew military aircraft in noncombat missions.last_img

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