“Flying is easy; all you have to do is get the hang of it."
We finished editing They Roared last week! Now it is being formatted. The proof should arrive by late this week or early next. After one last look and final approval, it goes to print. After five and a half years of research and writing, and almost three months of intense editing, we are close. It has been an intense three months! My talented and devoted editor, Laurie Martin, has made the grueling editing piece so much easier and fun most of the time. There is so much gratitude in my heart to the women from the book who found me, and the supportive friends and family who have walked this journey with me. It has been a good one. I am already thinking about what might come next.
This is a very brief highlight of one woman in They Roared. Let me introduce you to Selma Kantor Cronan. You can read more about her when the book is released.
Selma Kantor Cronan was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on May 6th, 1913. At the age of eight, Selma’s mother took her on her first airplane ride at a local airfield. From that day on, Selma wanted to fly. “From the time my mother took me on a two-dollar airplane ride in Asbury Park, N.J., in the 1920s, I fell in love with flying, and I knew I was going to become a pilot someday.” Many of the stories of the WASP began this way.
Selma obtained her pilot's license early in 1943. The following year, Jackie Cochran, that legendary aviator and pioneer, personally invited Selma to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Selma was inducted as a WASP in 1944, where she served bravely with hundreds of other women pilots.
In 1990, Selma and thirty other former WASP pilots attended an international conference of women pilots in Russia. It was here that Selma met many of the “Night Witches,” Russian pilots who flew daring night raids on German targets. (If you don’t know about the “Night Witches,” I encourage you to look them up. They were quite amazing).
At 82, Selma was living in Delray, California. She was still flying and active in women’s flying associations, particularly the International Association of Licensed Women Pilots. Selma continued flying almost until her death in 2002. She was a member of the National Aeronautical Association, the National Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Aviation Writers Association, the Women’s International Aeronautical Association, Wings for Peace in Africa, and an honorary membership in the Korean Women’s Association of Aeronautics.