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Vi Cowden

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2006 | Stephen Clark, Times Staff Writer
Ever since she was a 7-year-old farm girl in South Dakota, Vi Cowden has wanted to fly with the birds. The 89-year-old Huntington Beach resident got her pilot's license at 24, flew military planes during World War II and just weeks ago became the oldest person to sky-dive with the U.S. Army. "Just because you're a certain age, it doesn't mean you can't accomplish your dreams," she said. "Sometimes people think at 50 or 60 that their life is over. But there's still a lot to do.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2006 | Stephen Clark, Times Staff Writer
Ever since she was a 7-year-old farm girl in South Dakota, Vi Cowden has wanted to fly with the birds. The 89-year-old Huntington Beach resident got her pilot's license at 24, flew military planes during World War II and just weeks ago became the oldest person to sky-dive with the U.S. Army. "Just because you're a certain age, it doesn't mean you can't accomplish your dreams," she said. "Sometimes people think at 50 or 60 that their life is over. But there's still a lot to do.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1998 | HOLLY J. WOLCOTT
Four retired female military pilots who flew missions during World War II will share their aviation experiences during a Sept. 10 dinner meeting of the Ventura County Professional Women's Network. Vi Cowden flew a variety of planes for the Air Transport Command. Bea St. Clair Thurston was a fighter pilot who towed targets for fighter drills using live ammunition. Margaret Weiss was an engineering test pilot, and Betty Jane Williams was an instructor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1999 | NANCY WRIDE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Just inside the gates of the U.S. Naval Weapons Station at Seal Beach, a bell was rung for almost an hour Monday morning, once for each of 52 submarines lost during World War II. "Tolling the boats" is what they call it, a moving ceremony in which names of each underwater vessel sunk in wartime are called out, along with the fate of its crew. "All hands lost. . . . All hands lost," submarine veteran Bill Hagendorn intoned over and over, followed by the reverberating bell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1993 | ROBERT BARKER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Fifty years ago, Violet (Vi) Cowden served in the Women Air Force Service Pilots program, flying P-51 Mustangs and other fighter planes of World War II. Cowden and other women pilots flew planes fresh off factory assembly lines to embarkation points in California and New Jersey, freeing their male counterparts to fly combat missions. The 1,074 women who won their flight wings flew 60 million miles in service to their country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 1990 | ADRIANNE GOODMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Crediting her success to "simple perseverance," Navy Cmdr. Rosemary (Sabre) Mariner assumed command Thursday of a squadron of jet pilots at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, becoming the first woman in the U.S. armed services to lead an operational air squadron. As an occasional jet boomed overhead, Mariner took over leadership of the squadron from Cmdr. Charles H. Smith in solemn change-of-command ceremonies not far from the tarmac of the air strip.
MAGAZINE
February 14, 1999 | PATT MORRISON
It is always perilous to proclaim anything as "the first" of its kind. Inevitably there's someone who drags out musty letters as reproachful proof otherwise. One English newspaper was so uneasy about this that its writers were under orders not to cite anything as "the first" but rather to use the fudge-phrase "one of the first"--until a friend of mine dutifully and puckishly referred in print to George Washington as "one of the first presidents of the United States."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Violet Cowden never lost her love of flying, a passion born when she was a young girl envying the hawks soaring above her family's South Dakota farm in the 1920s. When she was a young first-grade teacher learning to fly out of an airfield in Spearfish, S.D., in the early 1940s, her students always knew when she had been flying because she was so happy. Her love of flying only increased when she joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. And although her career as a pilot ended after her wartime service, her enthusiasm for flying never let up. Indeed, Cowden gleefully co-piloted a World War II-era P-51 Mustang with dual controls and flew from San Bernardino to Orange County last year when she was 93. As she put it in a 2010 documentary about her life in the sky: "I always say the worst thing about flying is coming back to earth.
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