• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 23s

Fairbanks woman tells tales of flying days

By Joe Vigil 8:57 PM May 7, 2014

As we flew from Portland to Washington, D.C., the vets told us a lot of war stories. One very interesting tale came from a World War II vet who knows a little something about flying.

Ninety-three-year-old Nancy Baker of Fairbanks was carrying something on the trip that got a lot of attention: A card that says she’s certified to fly P-40s, P-47s, P-51s and P-63s.

Like driving a new car off the sales lot, the then-20-year-old Baker flew brand new planes from U.S. factories to the East Coast. From there, ships hauled them to war overseas.

Baker didn’t get a lot of training on the planes before flying them from the showroom.

“We got instructions. We got verbal instructions,” Baker said. “You just took off. Just took off and flew.”

She told us men never had a problem with her flying because she was a woman. It was her height that sometimes was an issue.

“One day somebody reported a P-47 flying around the airport without a pilot,” she said. “And then the tower called in and found it was me. I was so small they couldn’t see me.”

We asked her why she signed up.

“For one thing I love to fly,” she said. “That’s all I every wanted to do from the beginning when I was a little teenie kid.”

When Baker returned home from the war she flew encyclopedias to people in the Bush. She says families, especially those with kids, needed them.

There were more than 40 vets flying on the plane, along with their guardians. Baker flew with Susan Grace, a very good friend.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Anchorage man accused of targeting, assaulting registered sex offenders

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 27, 16:47

    An Anchorage man has been arrested and indicted on multiple charges of assault, robbery, burglary and theft after conducting targeted attacks on registered sex offenders, according to a Wednesday release from the Alaska Attorney General’s Office. According to prosecutors, 41-year-old Jason Christian Vukovich attacked at least three men listed on the Alaska Sex Offender Registry […]

  • News

    Harry Brower Jr elected new North Slope Borough mayor

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 16:43

    The North Slope Borough has a new mayor following a runoff election last week. Harry Brower Jr. was sworn Tuesday after absentee and questioned ballots were tallied and the results of the election were certified. He is the brother-in-law of Charlotte Brower, who was recalled as mayor earlier this year after she was linked to […]

  • Politics

    Murkowski raises more than $730K during latest quarter

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 14:22

    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski brought in more than $730,000 during the latest fundraising quarter. As of June 30, the Republican had nearly $3.1 million available. Murkowski faces no major opposition in next month’s GOP primary. Independent Margaret Stock, who will first appear on the November general election ballot, reported raising about $190,000 from April through […]

  • Lifestyle

    Federal Reserve keeps interest rates near record lows

    by CBS/AP on Jul 27, 12:01

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates unchanged while noting that near-term risks to the economy have diminished. “The Fed seems intent on telling the markets that a September hike is a possibility,” Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, emailed. “They do this not because they are intent to raise but to […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Coffee shops, carts and cafes

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 27, 11:17

    Anchorage is second to Seattle for having the most coffee carts per capita, according to the National Coffee Association. That’s 189 coffee carts for all of Anchorage’s coffee lovers. Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium states that owners can make anywhere between $300 to $1,400 per day, depending on the location and concept. The captial needed […]

  • News

    Payment delays stall bulk water sales in Sitka

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 10:03

    Efforts to advance bulk water sales in Sitka have stalled amid missed payments. Members of the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board of Directors this week expressed frustration with the delays, but left open the possibility for the interested groups to buy water rights if they come up with the required money. Alaska Bulk Water Inc. […]

  • News

    Kodiak runway extends 600 feet into ocean as safety measure

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 8:42

    If a jet needs a little extra space landing at the Kodiak airport, the runway has just been extended – 600 feet into the ocean. But don’t expect any watery landings. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports airports typically extend runways for safety reasons, but geography was a challenge in Kodiak because the airport runway has […]

  • News

    Prosecutors drop charges in Freddie Gray case

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 8:27

    Prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction. Gray was a black man who was critically injured in the back of a police van in April 2015. Prosecutors’ decision Wednesday comes after a judge had already acquitted three […]