Virginia "Scotty" Bradley Gough* (1922-2013) grew up chasing a daring pair of dreams: to fly and to parachute jump.
Realization merged when, in 1941 at age 19, she got free flying time in return for exhibition jumping over Harvey Field at Blythe, Calif.
The diminutive flier continued her training until coming of age (21) to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots organization (WASP) in February 1944. She became one of the 1,074 women in the corps. Thirty-eight died in the line of duty Scotty took on one of the most dangerous of assignments- test pilot.
That her love of flying dictated her life choices was dramatized by her brief post-war stint as a John Roberts Powers model in New York. Her first appearance was at Saks Fifth Avenue. But she promptly abandoned the lucrative profession when the lure of flight called her to a job ferrying airplanes and performing aerobatics in airshows.
In 1947 she married Peter Gough, brother of a WASP The Goughs raised four children: Michael, Joan-Scott, Brad and Connie. They moved to Bethany Beach, Del., in the 1960s. Peter Gough, a teacher, died in 1995.
Scotty and fellow WASP Ethel Meyer* * established the WASP exhibit at the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base. It was their idea that the museum offer lifetime memberships. Meyer and Gough became Nos. 1 and 2.
Reach Beyond Your Dreams
Scotty was always in demand as a speaker. In appearances at schools, she encouraged young people to "pursue your dreams, then reach beyond them."
* Pronounced "GAWF"
** Ethel Meyer Finley, Rehoboth Beach, was inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001. She died in February 2006.