Rosa Charlyne Creger 44-W-10 | WASP in the Spotlight 4-28-2023

Charlyne Creger was born on December 24, 1918, in Noble, Oklahoma to her parents, Charles and Rosa Creger. Her father worked as a blacksmith and played the Tennessee Bluegrass fiddle, while her mother hailed from the Oklahoma Indian territory. Charlyne was the fourth of six children and completed her high school education in Norman, Oklahoma. She took pride in being born during that time and remarked that they did not have any toys, but rather used their minds to create their own entertainment. As they did not possess an alarm clock, the sound of a braying jackass from across the street woke everyone up each morning.

When Charlyne was just eight years old in the 1920s, the local newspaper announced that the famous Wiley Post would take passengers for a ride in a plane for either a penny per pound or a collection of bread wrappers. Though Charlyne didn’t have a penny to her name, she began saving bread wrappers. When she finally arrived for her flight, she was told that she was too small for the seat belt. But Charlyne was determined to fly, so she asked if her cousin could share the seat belt with her. The pilot agreed, and Charlyne’s first flight was an unforgettable experience. After graduating from high school, Charlyne pursued her passion for dance by joining Catherine Duffy’s Productions in Oklahoma City. She then worked as a model for Kickerknick Lingerie and had aspirations to become a designer.

Charlyne was employed as a Production Control Booth Expeditor at Douglas Aircraft before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although her job title sounded fancy, she primarily counted screws. She obtained her pilot’s license in Norman, Oklahoma and desired to join the WASP program. Unfortunately, her request was turned down since her work was deemed critical for the war. However, Charlyne decided to resign from her job and serve her country by flying.

Charlyne joined Avenger Field as part of class 44-W-10, the last group of Women Airforce Service Pilots on May 26, 1944. After her graduation on December 7, 1944, she was assigned to Waco Army Field in Texas. Unfortunately, the WASP program was deactivated on December 20, 1944, leaving her without a job. Despite no one wanting women pilots, she managed to adapt and became a salvage pilot and flight instructor. Later on, she worked at the Crippled Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, after which she completed nursing training at Houston’s Herman Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport. During the Korean War in 1951, Charlyne joined the USAF as a nurse. At age 35, she applied for medical school but was denied as it was believed that she would be taking a man’s place. She did not give up and, instead, went to London to study under the Queen’s Anesthesiologist. Eventually, she became the Chief of Anesthesia Department at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In 2002, Charlyne was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in Oklahoma, and in 2003, she was introduced into the Daedalians, a group of elite military pilots. Despite her success in other fields, Charlyne loved being a WASP the most.

“Out of nothing, it made me something, because it gave me the courage to try anything!”

Rosa Charlyne Creger

Written by: Ann Haub | Collections Director
Photos courtesy: National WASP WWII Museum Archives

Archives Contact:

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


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