Nancy Batson Crews

Nancy Batson Crews

“Alabama’s First Lady of Flight”
High school cheerleader, campus queen, airplane pilot, wife, mother, politician and business-woman!

Ferrying had tense moments.

(May 1988, Lightning Strikes)

Nancy Batson Crews delivered many P-38s from California to the P.O.E. at Newark, N .J., but one trip left her less than ecstatic. Preparing to land at Pittsburgh, she saw that the nose wheel was not coming down. Although weary from the three-hour leg, she dutifully set to work with the manual pump.

“Ah lost track of the number of pumps,” recalls Alabama-born Crews, “But mah arm sure was sore.” Finally, when the nose wheel still would not budge, she used the C02 bottle . Ferry pilots had been instructed not to touch emergency equipment and WASPs assiduously obeyed instructions.  But enough  was enough.

So the landing was made, and the plane was inspected. After a day’s delay and the assurance that the problem had been fixed, Crews took off for Newark. As she approached, guess what? Same balky nose wheel. This time exasperated ferry pilot said the equivalent of “to-H-with-it” and blew it down again.

That was one P-38 which did not receive the customary friendly farewell pat.

Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama's First Lady of Flight Book
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Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama’s First Lady of Flight

This is the story of an uncommon woman–high school cheerleader, campus queen, airplane pilot, wife, mother, politician, business-woman–who epitomizes the struggles and freedoms of women in 20th-century America, as they first began to believe they could live full lives and demanded to do so. World War II offered women the opportunity to contribute to the work of the country, and Nancy Batson Crews was one woman who made the most of her privileged beginnings and youthful talents and opportunities…

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Steve Blake

AdoriminiP-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter GroupP-38 LIGHTNING Unforgettable Missions of Skill and LuckLightning Strikes!The Lockheed P-38Author & Historian Steve Blake is one of the original members of the P‑38 National Association and was an attendee at...



Following are the details we have gathered on pilots who were qualified as "Aces" (five or more planes shot down) in the P‑38. It's accurate to the best of our knowledge, but if you find any errors or omissions, please let us know! Search for Ace by last name:A | B |...

Photo Recon

Photo Recon

P‑38 Photo Reconnaissance planes (called F‑4s and F‑5s) and their pilots were the eyes of the AAF. Their only weapon was a camera. (Note the camera opening on the side in the photo below.)The F‑4 was the first version of the unarmed Lightning, and the F‑5 was an...