Sally Blythe

Sally Blythe

By Christopher Alexander

Sally Blythe was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania more than “30” years ago. Growing up she lived in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey before moving back to Philadelphia. In August 1944, at the age of 21, she joined the Women’s Air Corp as a control tower operator.

In August of 1946, while stationed at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, she met her (very) soon to be husband, Billie. He worked as a ground radio operator in the same building where she worked. One night after getting off work at midnight he offered to give her a ride to the women’s barracks. They talked outside the barracks for over two and a half hours. They married two months later. Their marriage lasted 65 years, 9 months and 2 days.

While Billie retired from the Air Force, Sally traded in the military for motherhood. Her original contract was for the duration of the war plus six months, however she separated after becoming pregnant with their first child in September 1947. They went on to have three more children. All her children were born at military installations: Lackland AFB in Texas; Tinker AFB in Oklahoma; Keesler AFB in Mississippi; and Wheelus AFB in Tripoli (North Africa).

When Sally and her husband retired they bought an RV and toured the United States and Canada. They even took some tours into Mexico. When they were done touring the country they became Residents of the AFRH in Gulfport until they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. They moved to the DC home, and except for a short stay in Long Beach, stayed there until they returned to the Gulfport Home when it opened in October 2010.

When asked why she entered the Women’s Air Corp, Sally replied, “It was the right thing to do during the war. It freed up the men so they could fight.” Sally’s service benefited the country, allowed her to meet her husband and ultimately culminated in her stay as a Resident at AFRH. It seems that doing the “right thing” often leads to the “right thing” for you.