This post contains affiliate links. As we read through our YWAM Christian Heroes: Then and Now books, we’ve read extensively about the tragedy that occurred in the 1950s when Nate Saint and four other men were murdered by the Waoranai due to a miscommunication. Within many of those books, Betty Greene, a pilot with Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF), made brief appearances, so the girls chose Betty Greene: Wings to Serve by Janet & Geoff Benge as our next book to read.
About Betty Greene
This book is an excellent read for young girls in search of strong females. Betty Greene was born in 1920 and broke barriers throughout her life. First, she used her love of flying and her desire to get more flight training to work as a WASP during WWII. I’ve read about WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) before in other books like Flight Girls, but Betty Greene’s story really highlighted the discrepencies between the paid, enlisted male pilots and the volunteer female pilots. The women weren’t even given uniforms; they had to use the mens’. One time, Betty had to take her plane up so the male pilots could use it as target practice!!
After the WASP program disbanded, she decided she wanted to use her love of flying and her love of missionary work together. She helped found MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship). She was not only the organization’s first pilot, but also their first female pilot. Her job took her throughout the world. She was stationed in South America (where she worked with Nate Saint) as well as Africa and New Guinea. Every where she went, she did things that men at the time didn’t expect women to do. She even met with an emir once and had lunch with him and several other men, which was unheard of at the time.
Unlike other female missionaries, she never married or had children. She was a true working woman who also used her passion for flying and religion to do what she loved.
I enjoy YWAM Heroes of History and Christian Heroes books, especially because Janet Benge is great at making the end of each chapter suspenseful so you want to keep reading. However, I felt this book was toned down a lot. Clearly, Greene had a very exciting, eventful life, but beyond her time as a WASP, I felt the book was muted. I don’t know why this book just didn’t feel as exciting as the other books I’ve read. It’s definitely not because Greene led a boring life.
I give Betty Greene: Wings to Serve by Janet & Geoff Benge, 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale only because I feel the authors could have made the story more exciting.