The B-29 Blonde Bomber Beauty: Audra's Story
Audra, who calls American House Wildwood home, is 95 years young.
Although born in Lexington, Kentucky, Audra spent many of her days at an all-girls boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina.
On December 7, 1941, a typical Sunday, wanting to explore the world in front of her; Audra made the decision to sneak out of the boarding school at 16. With a Greyhound bus ticket in one hand provided by her sister and her bags in the other, Audra was headed to Chicago.
Audra would soon learn that this was not only the start of her next adventure, but a day the history books will never forget- the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Chicago was once coined as the pulse of America, but Audra found it to be the pulse of her story. She found opportunity there. She quickly became a showgirl in a high-class dinner nightclub, where Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra performed. Audra had the opportunity to be the opening act for both of these well-known stars.
Three years down the road, Audra found herself presented with a new opportunity working at the Chrysler factory. Her role was very important as she was responsible for inspecting airplane fighter pilot seats. If the seat passed inspection, she stamped her initials onto them.
While working for Chrysler, Audra entered a company beauty contest competing for the Blonde Bomber B-29 title. Coming in first place, she made headline news.
After learning about the contest, a fighter pilot reached out to Chrysler requesting a picture of Audra “Miss Blonde Bomber.” The contest picture was soon sent to him and he pinned it up in his cockpit.
When the war ended and the plane was returned, officials found Audra’s picture was still hanging and her initials were stamped on the pilot’s seat as being one, she had inspected.
Audra later met her husband of 44 years, Ben, and had three children.
Audra’s favorite memory is receiving word that the war was over and that Ben would be returning home.
When Ben returned home, he and Audra traveled all over the world with her family. Of all the places she’s traveled, New Zealand and Egypt hold special places in her heart.
Audra’s biggest piece of advice is, “Live life to its fullest and don’t take your youth for granted. Venture out and see the world and all the things that are offered.”
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