HomeNewsArticle Display

Ellsworth AFB airfield ops building renamed in honor of WASP

Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing commander, provides remarks on Ola “Millie” Rexroat during a building dedication in her honor at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 2, 2017. Capt. Ola “Millie” Rexroat, the only recorded Native American member of the Women Airforce Service Pilot corps in 1944, will now have her legacy live on through the airfield operations building. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

Friends and family of Ola “Millie” Rexroat pose for a group photo during a building dedication in her honor at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 2, 2017. Rexroat was the only Native American member of the Women Airforce Service Pilot corps and, after the WASPs disbanded, went on to serve as an air traffic controller in the Air Force Reserves, as a captain. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (AFNS)-- --

The Ellsworth Air Force Base airfield operations building was renamed the “Millie Rexroat Building,” during a ceremony, Oct. 2, 2017. 

The 28th Bomb Wing dedicated the building to Ola “Millie” Rexroat, cementing her legacy to all who walk through the building. 

Rexroat was the only Native American member of the Women Airforce Service Pilot corps and, after the WASP was disbanded, went on to serve as an air traffic controller in the Air Force Reserves, as a captain. 

“She never forgot that she was a Native American,” said Forest R. McDonald, Rexroat’s son. “She never forgot her heritage and her native culture; it was very important to her.” 

Rexroat was a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where she spent summers with her grandmother. 

“Everything my mother did, it sent a message to me when I was very young,” McDonald said. “If you really want to do something, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t just because of who or what you are. It wasn’t something she ever said to me, it’s just who she was. It’s something I’ve always kept with me.” 

During the unveiling, Col. John R. Edwards, commander of the 28th Bomb Wing, spoke in front of many of Rexroat’s friends and family members who were present during the ceremony. 

“Captain Ola ‘Millie’ Rexroat joined in 1944,” Edwards said. “Before flying for the WASP corps, she knew she had to support the war effort and thought the best way she could do that was applying for the WASPs, where she would learn how to fly an aircraft before she could even drive a car.” 

While serving as a WASP, Rexroat towed targets behind a T-6 Texan for air-to-air gunnery and ground-to-air anti-aircraft practice for male pilots. She also transported personnel and cargo. After the WASPs disbanded, Rexroat served another 10 years in the Air Force Reserves as an air traffic controller. 

“It is [with] great pride that I can be here to honor ‘Millie’ Rexroat and the legacy she gave to us,” Edwards explained. “She was someone who led with inspiration, courage and dedication to the country, and is an inspiration for many Native Americans; for all Americans.”

Engage

Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Twitter
“With accelerating disruptive technologies...rewriting Air Power for all nations, not just the U.S., continuing our… https://t.co/WDD6LsQGkr
Twitter
#Resilience: The story of the Peck family’s and their battle with breast cancer. #TotalForce @ScottAFB https://t.co/PYGgSOQwcu
Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,265,484
Follow Us