Maggie Gee (pilot)

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Margaret "Maggie" Gee
Born
Gee Mei Gue

(1923-08-05)August 5, 1923
Berkeley, California
DiedFebruary 1, 2013(2013-02-01) (aged 89)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationPilot, physicist and researcher
Known forOne of two Chinese-American women pilots during World War II

Maggie Gee (August 5, 1923[1] – February 1, 2013[2]) was an American aviator who served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in World War II. She was one of two Chinese-American women to serve in the organization, the other being Hazel Ying Lee.[3][4] As a WASP pilot, she helped male pilots train for combat, as female pilots were not allowed to serve in combat at that time. She also ferried military aircraft.[5]

Life[edit]

Gee, one of six children, was born in Berkeley, California. She was a third-generation Chinese American; her maternal grandparents had moved to California from a village in Guangzhou. Her grandfather was a pioneer in the abalone industry on the Monterey Peninsula.[6]

In 1941 Gee enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley to study physics but dropped out after a few months to work in the drafting department at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, following the United States' entering World War II. Her mother Jung An Yoke also worked there, as a welder. Gee and two co-workers bought a car for $25 and drove to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas where she trained for six months to become a WASP.[6]

She later worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is featured in a number of books, oral history projects, and documentaries. In 2009 a book was written about her life story called Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee, by Marissa Moss.[5] In 2010, she and all other living WASP pilots received the Congressional Gold Medal.[5][7]

Maggie Gee also served for many decades as an elected member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, supporting voter registration and fundraising. She also served for many years as a long-time Board member and Treasurer of the Berkeley Democratic Club in Berkeley, California. She has served on the California Democratic Party Executive Board and Asian Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus. She has received numerous awards and citations from the Democratic Party, including a posthumous award in March 2014 from the Asian Pacific Democratic Caucus of Alameda County.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maggie Gee Death Notice". San Francisco Chronicle. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  2. ^ "WASP Final Flight: Maggie Gee, 44-W-9, Feb 1, 2013". Feb 4, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Bay News: Pioneering APA Pilot Honored". AsianWeek.com. 2002-10-10. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  4. ^ jaymie Offline (2006-07-13). "In Pursuit of a Dream". Asiance Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  5. ^ a b c "WASP Pilot to receive Congressional Medal of Honor for service during WWII « Crown Publishing – Tricycle". Tricycle.crownpublishing.com. 2010-02-08. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  6. ^ a b Katie Hafner, "Overlooked No More: When Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee Soared the Skies," The New York Times, May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Congressional Gold Medal Recipients | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-03.

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