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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Making Aviation History

Rename the Oakland Airport

Your help is needed,
and it's as easy as clicking HERE
and Signing the Petition. 

Help to make history and change the name of the Oakland International Airport to Maggie Gee International Airport. 

Maggie Gee passed away at the age of 89 February 1, 2013, but let’s not allow her to be forgotten. The WASPS are passing and a huge part of history is flying on. Notice of passings are identified on a blog titled the WASP Final Flight Blog, and I have reproduced the information about Maggie below. Maggie's passion started at the Oakland airport and her legacy should be carried on. 

“Margaret "Maggie" Gee, whose Chinese name was Gee Mei Gue, was born on August 5, 1923 in Berkeley, California, the daughter of a successful Chinese importer and a first generation Chinese-American. Maggie’s grandparents (on her mother's side) had been fishermen who immigrated to the United States to escape the Taiping Revolution and settled in Chinatown, where her parents met and married. However, her father did not want to raise his family in Chinatown, so before Maggie was born, he moved his family to Berkley. 

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Mr. Gee had a heart attack on a San Francisco street and died shortly thereafter, leaving behind a wife and six children. Maggie’s formative years were spent witnessing her mother take on greater and greater responsibility, not only raising six children and working, but remaining actively involved in her church and her community. 

When America entered WWII, Maggie passed a drafting test and left her first year of college to work at the Mare Island Naval Shipyards in Vallejo, California. There, she worked as a draftsman for the engineers who were working on classified projects on US Naval ships needing repair. 

By 1942/43, Maggie had saved enough money to move to Minden, Nevada, to learn to fly. She paid $800 for six months of training and fifty hours of flying time. After she soloed and flew the required hours, Maggie applied for the WASP flying training program at Avenger Field, Texas and was accepted into class 44-W-9. 

In June, 1944, Maggie left her home in San Francisco and boarded a troop train which was filled with soldiers at Berkley, California. For the next two days, she either sat on her suitcase or stood up -- all the way to Sweetwater, Texas. There 107 women pilots who entered the same class with Maggie; however, only 55 earned their silver wings and graduated as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) on November 8, 1944. 

After graduation, Maggie was sent to Las Vegas Army Air Field, Nevada, where she served as a tow target pilot for flexible gunnery training for male cadets until the WASP were deactivated on December 20, 1944. She then returned to Berkley and completed her formal education, after which she traveled to Europe and was in charge of a European Service Club in the early 1950's. 

When Maggie returned to the United States, she began her life as a physicist/researcher, working and studying at the UC Berkley and at its National Laboratory in Livermore. Her research covered the fields of cancer, nuclear weapons design, fusion energy, and other related fields.

"I’m very optimistic about the world and people... it will be all right...You can make changes. I think just one small person can make a little bit of change..."

Maggie's lifetime passion for politics began in the Truman Administration, and she continued her work by supporting voter registration and fundraising, serving on the Berkley Community Fund, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, and as a board member of the Berkley Democratic Club in Berkeley, CA. She also served on the California Democratic Party Executive Board and Asian Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus. 

Maggie's legacy will live on in the lives of all of those she educated and changed with her passionate patriotism and her extraordinary sense of social justice. 

Maggie's legacy will live on in the lives of all of those she educated and changed with her passionate patriotism and her extraordinary sense of social justice."

Respectfully written and posted by Nancy Parrish
Feb. 4, 2013 

Please sign the petition. 
Each signature will make a difference. 
Help to inspire the future of Aviation
by remembering the past and honoring our aviators.

Click  HERE  To Sign 
and become part of Aviation History. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Thank you for sharing Karlene!

  2. Thanks, Karlene. I am surprised, now that I think about it, that no major airports are named for women. Sad. I signed this petition and hope it helps!!!

    1. Thanks Kathy! I think there must be a first and this is a good place to start!


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