img_2260-1

As a follow up to last Thursday’s talk on “Four Saratoga World War II Veterans and Contractors” (which is available to view at https://www.facebook.com/historiantosaratoga/ )

One of the subjects of the talk was Virginia Sweet from Quaker Springs.  Sweet, who joined the WASP (1943-1944) during World War II, shatter the glass ceiling in many arena during her life.This is an article from 1945 in the Schenectady Gazette.

“Made the acquaintance on a visit this week of Virginia “Ginger ” Sweet who has received her commercial airplane single and multiengine license and now is shopplng about for a flying job. . . “Ginger” is one of the Wasp’s whose sting Uncle Sam felt he no longer needed … if truth were told there probably would be more behind the end of the Wasps than appears on the surface… We have gathered from various sources that Wasp Leader Cochran was none too popular… and now there some 800 discharged Wasps with flying in their blood looking for aviation jobs. “

The following section will provide some background on Virginia Sweet, a woman that broke barriers in the aviation world for decades. She can provide inspiration and is a role models for young women seeking to enter the aviation profession.

Virginia Sweet was born in 1921 in the hamlet of Quaker Springs in the Town of Saratoga. Her father, Harry Sweet was a disabled (gas exposure) World War 1 veteran who passed away when Sweet was 9 years old. Her mother Jessica Smith Sweet struggled to raise Virginia and her two sisters. Virginia Sweet worked hard and was gifted in her academics. She skipped two grades at the Quaker Springs one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Mechanicville High School and Duke University (with honors).

Her ”flying career was inspired by her grandfather and her reading of Amelia Earhart’s books when she was a youngster. When Ginger came home at the end of her sophomore year at Duke University, she found that her grandfather had a brand new car. She wanted to learn to drive it but he said no one was going to drive his new car. “Then I’m going to learn to fly instead,” Virginia retorted and did just that. “ according to the Troy Times 18 November 1952. She became a student in the Civilian Pilot Training program at Union College and received a private pilot’s license in September, 1940.

In 1943, she joined the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The WASP were a corps of U.S. female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front line of World War 2. She was assigned to Romulus, Michigan, where she took her regular turn with male pilots in flight delivery of army aircraft. She is qualified to fly 23 different types of planes and to co-pilot Flying Fortresses, Liberators, Mitchel bombers and Catalina amphibians.

After WWII, she served as a reserve commission in 1949 and spent five years on active duty during and after the Korean War. She retired from the USAF Reserve in September 1979, as a Lt. Colonel after 30 years of service. In addition, she had the Amelia Earhart Scholarship presented to her in NYC in 1949, by Maj. Gen. Robert M. Webster, Commanding General of the Eastern Defense Command of the Continental Air Command, United States Air Force.
After WASP deactivation, she had a lifelong aviation career, adding some 55 different civilian types of aircrafts to her flight log, along with 14 sailplanes and gliders. She held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land and seaplanes, gliders, and an instrument and instructor certificate. She was an advanced ground school instructor and was a flight examiner for many years. She taught flying at Lake Champlain, at RPI to ROTC cadets, and at most of the airports in the Capital District.

Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Virginia Sweet that help define this country, our region, and this community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

OTD: Town Board meet on consolidation of health districts

#onthisday in 1916, there was a meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga: “A meeting of the Town Board of Health of the Town of Saratoga and the Village Board of Health of the Village of Schuylerville was held at the office of the Town Tlerk in the Village of Schuylerville for the purposes of considering consolidation of the health district at the suggestion of Dr. Prest, the District Health or Sanitary Officer.”
 Dr. Charles S Prest was the District Sanitation Officer and he cited statistics in a request to the board to consider to consolidate into one health district. The issue was not considered until the 6 April 1916 meeting and the board rejected the consolidation. Dr. Charles S. Prest was the State health officer in Waterford, NY. He was a Sanitary Supervisor of the New York State Department of Health. Dr. Prest was connected with the New York State Department of Health since 1911. He began his career in Health Service as Health Officer of Waterford New York for 12 years. In 1912, he made a study of the observation of the New York State Tuberculosis Registration Law and reported to the Public Health Commission of 1913 which drafted the present New York State Public Health Law. He also assisted in drafting the Public Health and the Vital Statistics Laws, as well as the law concerning the consolidation of Health districts. Dr Prest has recently spent some time in the development of occasional clinics for the earlv diagnosis of tuberculosis in New York state, according to the News Letter, Volume 3 of the American National Red Cross. Atlantic Division 1920. 
These are the town board records of 1916 made by Town Clerk Paul August Hespelt.(1 Mar 1890 – 1945). Paul A. Hespelt (was a pharmacist at Miller’s pharmacy. The pharmacy was also the location of the Town offices (rented from C.J. Miller for $60 a year). 
The Town Clerk’s Office is the official repository for all ordinances, resolutions and official documents related to the Saratoga town government. The Town Clerk office is historical in its traditions, having served as a direct link between the residents and their local governments since the beginning. While town clerks are generally credited with issuing licenses, that is only a small part of this complex job. Many duties are mandated by state and town laws, but many more go well beyond those mandates as town clerks also serve as a major source of information to all. One of the most important roles is as the Records Management Officer. The Town Clerk is the custodian of all town records, responsible for active files, storage and position of inactive records, and the careful maintenance of archival material. 
The Town of Saratoga was established in 1788 as one of the four “mother” towns of Saratoga County, NY. The Town of Saratoga has a legacy that is rich history and a current environment that is attractive to residential, commercial, and agricultural pursuits. It is located in the eastern portion of Saratoga County bordering the Hudson River on the East, Saratoga Lake and the City of Saratoga Springs on the West, the Town of Stillwater on the South, and the Towns of Northumberland and Wilton on the North. Despite all of the changes that have occurred, the rural character of the Town and the spirit of the residents has remained constant. As the new millennium unfolds the town is prepared to honor its past and welcome the challenges that are forthcoming in the future.

On this day

On this day in 1897, Victory spent $1067.19 for year ending Feb. 26; in 1930, dam gates closed to form Sacandaga Lake and forever changing the upper Hudson River. 
On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga. Discover what happened today in local history by subscribing to our blog at http://ift.tt/2czXtwq 
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)

Sweet flying the C-47

img_2260-1

As a follow up to last Thursday’s talk on “Four Saratoga World War II Veterans and Contractors” (which is available to view at https://www.facebook.com/historiantosaratoga/ )

In 1944 the Schenectady Gazette published an interesting article about Virginia Sweet from Quaker Springs.  Sweet, who joined the WASP (1943-1944) during World War II, shatter the glass ceiling in many arena during her life.

Ginny Sweet of the Wasps who was in at the local port recently flying a Harvard has completed her 15 hours of Instrument Instruction on the Douglas C-47 huge two motored cargo ship, and passed all the checks necessary to qualify her as an army instrument and night flight pilot on that ship and smaller types. . . . One of the checks included a flight from her home base at Rosecrans field, St. Joseph, Mo. across the state more than 300 miles to St. Louis and back at night with only another girl as co-pilot; who also was on her first solo. . . . Ginger expects to get to Brownsville, Tex. on temporary duty this month. “

She was qualified to fly as first pilot on 23 different types of planes and to co-pilot Flying Fortresses, Liberators, Mitchel bombers and Catalina amphibians.

The following section will provide some background on Virginia Sweet, a woman that broke barriers in the aviation world for decades. She can provide inspiration and is a role models for young women seeking to enter the aviation profession.

Virginia Sweet was born in 1921 in the hamlet of Quaker Springs in the Town of Saratoga. Her father, Harry Sweet was a disabled (gas exposure) World War 1 veteran who passed away when Sweet was 9 years old. Her mother Jessica Smith Sweet struggled to raise Virginia and her two sisters. Virginia Sweet worked hard and was gifted in her academics. She skipped two grades at the Quaker Springs one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Mechanicville High School and Duke University (with honors).

Her ”flying career was inspired by her grandfather and her reading of Amelia Earhart’s books when she was a youngster. When Ginger came home at the end of her sophomore year at Duke University, she found that her grandfather had a brand new car. She wanted to learn to drive it but he said no one was going to drive his new car. “Then I’m going to learn to fly instead,” Virginia retorted and did just that. “ according to the Troy Times 18 November 1952. She became a student in the Civilian Pilot Training program at Union College and received a private pilot’s license in September, 1940.

In 1943, she joined the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The WASP were a corps of U.S. female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front line of World War 2. She was assigned to Romulus, Michigan, where she took her regular turn with male pilots in flight delivery of army aircraft. She is qualified to fly 23 different types of planes and to co-pilot Flying Fortresses, Liberators, Mitchel bombers and Catalina amphibians.

After WWII, she served as a reserve commission in 1949 and spent five years on active duty during and after the Korean War. She retired from the USAF Reserve in September 1979, as a Lt. Colonel after 30 years of service. In addition, she had the Amelia Earhart Scholarship presented to her in NYC in 1949, by Maj. Gen. Robert M. Webster, Commanding General of the Eastern Defense Command of the Continental Air Command, United States Air Force.

After WASP deactivation, she had a lifelong aviation career, adding some 55 different civilian types of aircrafts to her flight log, along with 14 sailplanes and gliders. She held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land and seaplanes, gliders, and an instrument and instructor certificate. She was an advanced ground school instructor and was a flight examiner for many years. She taught flying at Lake Champlain, at RPI to ROTC cadets, and at most of the airports in the Capital District.

Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Virginia Sweet that help define this country, our region, and this community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

On this day

On this day in 1937, the Saratoga Grange held an oyster supper which netted $28 and in 1964, a boy was shut in Schuylerville laundromat dryer. On this day is a chronological timetable of events that occurred on this day in history around the Town of Saratoga.
 Discover what happened today in local history by following us on Facebook at http://ift.tt/2kLifwt 
(Thank you to Deputy Historian Patricia Peck for compiling this timetable.)

Flying Chatter – Quaker Spring’s Virginia Sweet

As a follow up to last Thursday’s talk on “Four Saratoga World War II Veterans and Contractors” (which is available to view at https://www.facebook.com/historiantosaratoga/ )

One of the subjects of the talk was Virginia Sweet from Quaker Springs who joined the WASP. This is an article from the Schenectady Gazette  on 29 April 1944.

FLYING CHATTER

A lot of words have been said in past columns and along the aviation news front about Johnny Disbrow and Ginny Sweet who are well known at the local airport where they put in plenty of flying time.

We’d rather let the following article from a Seattle. Wash. newspaper speak for itself:

“Forced to wait in Yakima whenthe “celling” closed in over western Washington early yesterday. John Disbrow, an airlines pilot, hurried to  Seattle and arrived just In time to testify in court where he was awarded a divorce from Virginia Sweet Dlsbrow also a flier.

Disbrow testified that he and his wife were married in Schenectady, NY, Aug. 11. 1942. He said his wife is employed by the army to ferry airplanes (she’s a member of theWAFS) and is stationed in Michigan.

“Since she has taken up flying she refuses to make a home for me.” Dlsbrow testified. “She’s flying back there and I’m flying’ out here and she refuses to come here and live.”

The article through today’s eyes is sexist and it is symbolizes much to the treatment that women including pilots during this period. Quaker Springs native Virginia Sweet was very vocal about her concerns as highlighted in a 2009 article in the Times Union.

She liked to say she would have been a general if she was a man,” said a nephew, Edward Grinter of Schenectady.

Sweet wasn’t shy about articulating the bitterness she felt for being treated as a second-class citizen because she was a woman in a man’s realm during the war. She felt she could fly as well as any male, even if she was issued men’s flight jumpsuits that never fit quite right across her sinewy 5-feet-6, 100-pound body.“ – Times Union 17 July 2009
The following with provide some background on Virginia Sweet.

Virginia Sweet was born in 1921 in the hamlet of Quaker Springs in the Town of Saratoga. Her father, Harry Sweet was a disabled (gas exposure) World War 1 veteran who passed away when Sweet was 9 years old. Her mother Jessica Smith Sweet struggled to raise Virginia and her two sisters. Virginia Sweet worked hard and was gifted in her academics. She skipped two grades at the Quaker Springs one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Mechanicville High School and Duke University (with honors).

Her ”flying career was inspired by her grandfather and her reading of Amelia Earhart’s books when she was a youngster. When Ginger came home at the end of her sophomore year at Duke University, she found that her grandfather had a brand new car. She wanted to learn to drive it but he said no one was going to drive his new car. “Then I’m going to learn to fly instead,” Virginia retorted and did just that. “ according to the Troy Times 18 November 1952. She became a student in the Civilian Pilot Training program at Union College and received a private pilot’s license in September, 1940.

In 1943, she joined the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The WASP were a corps of U.S. female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front line of World War 2. She was assigned to Romulus, Michigan, where she took her regular turn with male pilots in flight delivery of army aircraft. She is qualified to fly 23 different types of planes and to co-pilot Flying Fortresses, Liberators, Mitchel bombers and Catalina amphibians.

After WWII, she served as a reserve commission in 1949 and spent five years on active duty during and after the Korean War. She retired from the USAF Reserve in September 1979, as a Lt. Colonel after 30 years of service. In addition, she had the Amelia Earhart Scholarship presented to her in NYC in 1949, by Maj. Gen. Robert M. Webster, Commanding General of the Eastern Defense Command of the Continental Air Command, United States Air Force.

After WASP deactivation, she had a lifelong aviation career, adding some 55 different civilian types of aircrafts to her flight log, along with 14 sailplanes and gliders. She held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land and seaplanes, gliders, and an instrument and instructor certificate. She was an advanced ground school instructor and was a flight examiner for many years. She taught flying at Lake Champlain, at RPI to ROTC cadets, and at most of the airports in the Capital District.

Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Virginia Sweet that help define this country, our region, and this community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.