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Nancy Batson Crews Nancy Batson Crews on the steps of the King Air she copiloted for American Equity Insurance Company, 1999–2000. Photo taken by and courtesy of King Air pilot-incommand Chris Beal-Kaplan. This photo first appeared in Alabama Aviation Heritage magazine, 2006. Nancy Batson Crews Alabama’s First Lady of Flight Sarah Byrn Rickman Foreword by Jane Kirkpatrick The University of Alabama Press Tuscaloosa Copyright © 2009 Sarah Byrn Rickman The University of Alabama Press Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0380 All rights reserved Manufactured in the United States of America Typeface: Goudy ∞ The paper on which this book is printed meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials , ANSI Z39.48-1984. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rickman, Sarah Byrn. Nancy Batson Crews : Alabama’s first lady of flight / Sarah Byrn Rickman ; foreword by Jane Kirkpatrick. p. cm. “Fire Ant books.” Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8173-5553-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Crews, Nancy Batson, 1920–2001. 2. Women air pilots—United States—Biography. 3. Air pilots—United States—Biography. 4. United States. Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron—Biography. 5. Women Airforce Service Pilots (U.S.)—Biography. 6. World War, 1939–1945—Participation, Female. 7. Birmingham (Ala.)—Biography. I. Title. TL540.C825R53 2009 629.13092—dc22 [B] 2009007965 Cover photo: Nancy Batson climbing into the cockpit of a North American AT-6 Army advanced trainer, ca. June 1943. This was the cover photo of Air Force, the Official Service Journal of the U.S. Army Air Forces, September 1943. Photo courtesy of the WASP Collection, the Woman’s Collection at Texas Woman’s University, Denton. This book is dedicated to the most important people in my life—my family: my husband, Richard; my sons and their wives, Jim and Amy and Chuck and Susan; and my grandchildren, Katie, Alex, and James Daniel. ...


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