Former Juneau resident Nancy Livingston Stratford was recently awarded the British Badge of Honour for her work as a member of the civilian Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II.
This group was composed of men and women pilots from Britain, the United States and other free countries. In 1942, Stratford was one of 24 American women civilian pilots to be recruited by Jackie Cochran, a famous U.S. aviatrix, for the British government, to ferry aircraft from factories to maintenance units to squadrons within Great Britain. She flew as an ATA pilot for three years, 1942-45, ferrying 50 different types of aircraft such as the Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, Mosquito, B-25 Mitchell, F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat, etc.
Last month, the British Government contacted the former ATA members (pilots as well as others associated with the ATA, such as flight engineers, ground and administrative support) and invited them to London for presentation of the award and tea at the prime minister's house. There were 52 surviving members who traveled to receive their badge.
In 1960, Stratford and her husband, Arlo Livingston, moved to Juneau, where they owned and operated Livingston Copters on North Douglas, until it was purchased by Era Helicopters in late 1977.
Nancy was the second licensed woman commercial helicopter pilot in the United States and fourth in the world. The Livingstons moved from Juneau in 1978. Mr. Livingston died in 1986 at Anacortes, Wash. In 1991, Nancy married Milton Stratford and moved to his home in San Diego. Milton Stratford died in June of this year.