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World War II pilot flew with WASPs

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Justine Howland Fletcher Woods, 94, of Honolulu, a World War II pilot and Congressional Gold Medal recipient, died in Honolulu on May 26.

Better known to family and friends as "Fletchie," she was one of 25,000 women who applied to be a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots in the early 1940s. Woods became one of 1,074 who graduated from the pilot program certified to fly. She flew for the Army Air Force during the last year of the war.

In March 2010 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, along with other women of the WASP, for being the first women in history to fly American military aircraft.

Following her piloting career, Woods joined the American Red Cross. She spent 50 years with the Red Cross as a water safety instructor and swim teacher.

Woods was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.

She graduated from Wells College and the University of Southern California. She also earned her private and commercial pilot’s licenses.

Her time with the Red Cross brought her to Hawaii. After her husband, "Bud," retired in 1975, they bought houses in Hawaii, Arizona and Colorado.

She is survived by son Ransom B. Woods III, daughter Lynn Severin, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Services will be held on the mainland.

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