The U.S. didn’t have enough male pilots for WWII, so the Women Airforce Service Pilots was created.
The pilots though who joined were not officially considered part of the military. Rather, they were considered civilians and received no military benefits.
One of those invited to join this program was Chinese American Hazel Lee. Hazel, who was born in Portland, had spent much of the 1930’s flying as a pilot in China. When she was contacted to join the program, she eagerly accepted.
Of the 38 female pilots to pass away during WWII, Lee was the last one.