Betty was born in Faribault, Minnesota on November 15, 1919, to Daniel and Julia Anne Wall. She was one of six children in their family. She graduated high school in 1937 and started working at Rice County Courthouse in the Register of Deeds office. While working at the courthouse, she was introduced to a member of the local sky club. He took her on her first ride in a plane, after riding in a plane for the first time she said, “It was love at first flight.”
She received her pilots license in 1942, while still working at the Courthouse. She applied to be a WASP and was accepted. She started training in August 1943 and graduated on February 11, 1944. After graduation, she was stationed at Las Vegas Army Airfield. While stationed there, she towed targets for cadet gunnery target practice.
After the WASP program, she applied to be a pilot at Northwest Airline and was told they do not hire women pilots. For a short time, she was an air traffic controller but quit because it was a lonely job.
Betty married her old boyfriend, Arthur Roberts, on December 27, 1947. They had five children. Arthur died in 1969. She later married Francis Langeslag, and Martin Strohfus, both of whom died before her.
In September 1976, Betty was one of seven WASP that spoke to Congress about bill H.R. 3277, a bill that recognized WASP as a veteran. This testimony helped congress decide to give the WASP veterans status, and President Carter signed the bill on November 23, 1977.
In 1991, Betty was interviewed by a teacher about her WASP experience, this interview inspired Betty to do presentations about the WASP around the country. This became Betty’s new love and she continued to do these presentations until her death on March 6, 2016.
On June 24, 2017, the Faribault Municipal Airport was renamed “Liz Wall Strohfus Field” in honor of Betty.
Written by: Ann Haub | Collections Director
Photos courtesy: National WASP WWII Museum Archives
Partner with the WASP Archive in achieving its mission to collect, protect, preserve and provide access to materials that chronicle the WASP story, its legacy, and the personal and professional lives of its pilots. New artifacts are always welcome. Please call Ann Haub at 325-235-0099 or by emailing her at email@example.com.