W.88 First Officer   Opal Pearl Laster-Anderson
 flag usa   b. 17 Aug 1906, Fulton KY  10 Jun-42 to 9 Apr-45

 ata opal laster-anderson ATA

     

 

Mother: Mrs Ada Thompson, 615 Pine St, Michigan, IN

Ed. Lowell Grade School, Blow High School, St. Louis

prev. a Flying Instructor [and a former hat designer (and allegedly striptease artist, although I think that was actually Bobby Sandoz, and anyway it's all very innocent)].

prev. exp. over 2,100 hrs - she owned a "Clip Speed Wing Laird"

m. Willard Anderson [divorced 1937, 1 son Norman Richard]

Address in 1942: 202 So. State St, Chicago, IL


Postings: 15FPP, 6FPP, 16FPP, 1FPP

She sailed back on leave on the 21 Aug 1943, with Evelyn Hudson, Margaret Lennox, Roberta Sandoz Leveaux, and Catharine van Doozer.

ata opal laster anderson and norman 1943 2

"Little Norman Anderson of Chicago welcomes home his mother, Opal Laster Anderson, 37, after a 14-month absence abroad with the ATA." - Ludington Daily News, Sep 1943

 "My most harrowing experience occurred last month in England when a bomber I was flying suddenly shot straight up into the air. I knew that two test pilots had been killed thru just such a plane reaction, and the experience I have gleaned thru years of showmanship in barnstorming, plus plain good luck, is all that saved me."

Reprimanded for "Breach of ATA Standing Orders G.4 and G.12" in 1943

 Frankie Francis, her CO, described her as "a very keen and hardworking pilot who is boisterous in temperament. A good officer but perhaps a little apt to speak and act without thought for possible consequences."

Norman Whitehurst said "Flying and discipline are both good. A keen and enthusiastic worker who is helpful and kind."

On her final day with the ATA, 9 April 1945, she ferried a Mosquito from 192 Sqn, Foulsham to 44MU, Edzell, and a Dakota from Ratcliffe to Kemble.

She later said "England is the worst place in the world to fly. The roads read like a bunch of snakes."


Post-WWII, Opal moved to Ontario in 1951, worked in Hollywood as a hat maker and also for General Dynamics in Pomona, continued to fly until the 1970s and then renovated aircraft and pony carts in California.

m. 1962 Malcolm Averitt [divorced 1970)

 d. 8 Jan 1994 - Ontario, Canada

 

 


Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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