Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine August/September 2021 online issue
Washington, DC – The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced that Erin Miller, author of “Final Flight Final Fight: My Grandmother, the WASP,” and “Arlington National Cemetery,” has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Bruce Whitman Trophy.
The Bruce Whitman Trophy was established by the Board of Directors of NAA in 2019 to honor the late aerospace executive and philanthropist. Whitman was posthumously named the first recipient of the trophy the same year.
The trophy is awarded to “… outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation or aerospace in the United States, and who by working with museums and other institutions, have promoted an appreciation by students and the broader public of the sacrifices and legacy of members of the military service.” A deserving nominee is put forth annually by the chairman of the NAA.
Erin Miller is the proud granddaughter of Elaine Danforth Harmon, a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. Despite being part of the first group of women to fly for the United States Army, WASP remained officially unrecognized as members of the military. Her grandmother’s last request was to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) and after she died in April 2015, this request was denied by the U.S. Army. This injustice led Miller to launch a successful grassroots, social media, and direct lobbying campaign to fight the decision. Thanks to Millers efforts, WASP members can now be buried at ANC.