The women flew to honor 90-year-old Lillian Yonally. She served in World War II as a Women Air Force Service Pilot.
New York and New Jersey members of The Ninety Nines, a vintage aviation group, took off from Albany International Airport to flyover Yonally’s home in Cohoes, New York.
One of the pilots told NewsNation affiliate WTEN, she’s “just such a role model, a ground breaker, envy that she flew so many aircraft. So much that she was able to serve.”
Another explained before the flight, “Its very important to remember those people who gave so much for our freedoms; for our liberties; for our ability to live the way we do. It’s very important to honor that and remember that.”
More than 1,000 women were trained to fly during World War II, according to WASP historian Sarah Byrn Rickman. The women served on more than 120 airbases throughout the war.
They officially were recognized as a part of the U.S. military after a 1977 law signed by President Carter.