Female World War II pilot was honored with flyover for her 99th birthday

A vintage aircraft flew over Boeing Field in Seattle on Saturday to honor World War II fighter pilot Dorothy Olsen on her 99th birthday.

Olsen was one of the 1,000 female pilots to serve in World War II. The hero flew 22 different types of fighter planes between 1943 and 1945. She dropped the planes from factories to U.S. Air Force bases for male pilots to then fly overseas. Olsen told KOMO News:

Olsen developed her love of flying after riding in a plane at an Oregon state fair when she was a young girl. She hated having to pay for the plane ride and decided that she would learn to fly herself instead. When World War II started, she already had her private license and decided to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots, otherwise known as WASPs.

Olsen describes the thrill she felt when surprising the men, who couldn't believe a woman could fly a plane, with her pilot skills. She said:

Olsen often got a bit reckless during her flying days. She loved to fly fast and low to the ground. She told KING 5:

Olsen is an inspiration to all of us. This bold, empowering woman certainly spent her 99 years well. She absolutely deserves the heartwarming tribute to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Learn more about WWII pilots' legacies preserved in the planes they flew:

WWII Pilots' Legacies Preserved In Historic Planes They Flew
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