Pearl Brummett Judd
Pearl Brummett Judd was one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. She was born in the Texas Panhandle at the Brummett 2B Ranch on 21 July l922, the only child of Irby and Alta Brummett. When she was about seven, her family was invited to a Buffalo Roundup at the Goodnight Ranch. Besides the cattlemen and their families, Colonel Goodnight invited Native Americans from their reservation in Oklahoma. As a publicity stunt, Colonel Goodnight hired a stunt pilot with his bright red Jenny to take one of the Natives up with a bow and arrow to kill a buffalo. The wind blew the arrow away and the noise of the engine stampeded the buffalo. However, Pearl saw nothing but the red airplane. When no one was looking, she attempted to climb into the cockpit. The pilot, seeing her, grabbed her by the collar yelling, “Who belongs to this?” as he dropped her off the wing. From that point on, Pearl knew she had to fly. During the early months of World War II, huge losses of American combat pilots created a desperate need for more pilots. After seeing a young lady in overalls sitting on the wing of a US Air Corps airplane on the cover page of Life Magazine, Pearl knew she had to apply for the WASP program. In order to be in the WASP program, an individual had to have 35 flying hours and be 21 years of age. When Pearl had both of these requirements, she applied to the WASP program and was a member of class 44-8. Of the 25,000 women who applied, she was among the 1,074 who completed the seven months of training. Her first orders were on 8 October l944 to Minter Field, California, at the advanced twin-engine school as a Flight Test Engineer. Pearl’s job at Minter Field consisted of towing training targets, ferrying damaged aircraft and test-flying repaired aircraft for return to combat. Multiple times, she put her life on the line to fulfill her mission. In one such incident, Pearl flew a Bamboo Bomber with an engine problem. Halfway back to Minter Field one engine died. Luckily, she was able to land and not only save her life but the aircraft. The WASPs disbanded on 20 December 1944. She married Ralph Judd, Jr. on 15 December 1944 and is a mother of four and grandmother of 18 grandchildren. In 2010, Congress awarded WASP members the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and dedication during a time when the nation needed them. Pearl Judd remains a proud member of the WASP, who forever changed the role of women in aviation.