Gertrude Tompkins Silver

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Gertrude Tompkins Silver
Gertrude Tompkins Silver.jpg
Gertrude Tompkins Silver WASP photo.
Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins[1]

(1911-10-16)October 16, 1911
DisappearedOctober 26, 1944 (aged 33)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
StatusMissing for 74 years, 8 months and 21 days
EraWorld War II
OrganizationWomen Airforce Service Pilots
Spouse(s)Henry Silver
Graduated WASP Class 43-W-7[2]

Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins Silver (October 16, 1911 – disappeared October 26, 1944) was the only Women Airforce Service Pilots member to go missing during World War II.[3]

Early life[edit]

Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins was born October 16, 1911, in Jersey City, New Jersey, the daughter of Vreeland Tompkins and Laura Tompkins (née Towar).[4]

Disappearance and search[edit]

She departed from Mines Field (Los Angeles International Airport) for Palm Springs, on October 26, 1944, flying a P-51D Mustang destined for New Jersey. She never arrived at Palm Springs and due to reporting errors a search wasn't started until three days later. Despite an extensive ground and water search no trace of Gertrude or the aircraft were found.[5]

Follow up and aftermath[edit]

In January 2010 search efforts to locate the possible crash site in Santa Monica Bay were unsuccessful.[6][7][4][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins Silver". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ "WASP Class 43-W-7 - Texas Woman's University".
  3. ^ Slater, Stefan (16 September 2014). "The Lost Wasp - Southbay". Southbay. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Ure, James W. (2017). Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1613735879.
  5. ^ Merl, Jean (14 September 1997). "Mystery in the Sky". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ Ongoing Search For Mrs. Gertrude Tompkins Silver. Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West.
  7. ^ "Search Underway for Missing Heroine of World War II and her P-51 Mustang | Scuba Diving Magazine". Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  8. ^ "The Last Missing WASP of WWII". Adventures in Rediscovery. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2018.