Marianne Beard Nutt, a member of the WASP class of 1943, died Jan. 16. She was 84.
Born in 1920, Nutt developed a passion for aviation at the tender age of 7 after seeing Amelia Earhart in her Beech. Although her family did not have the money for flying lessons and she was told girls could not be pilots, Nutt persevered. She learned to fly as America was bracing for war, paying for her flight training by working odd jobs at the airport.
After she soloed she joined the Civil Air Patrol. She was accepted into the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots program in 1942.
She was quickly promoted to squadron commander and flew PT-19s, BT-13s, UC-78s, and AT-6s. After graduation she ferried P-47s, P-40s, P-39s, P-63s and was a co-pilot on B-24s, C-46s and B-25s until the WASP were disbanded. Since the war was not over, she joined the Marines and served as an air traffic controller. After the war she married David Nutt, a career Air Force officer.
She worked as a senior air traffic controller and tower supervisor for Grumman Aerospace from 1953 to 1984. She opened the control tower at Stuart, Florida, working there for 27 years.