Daring Dames: Ginny Wood, Conservationist

Hey, everyone! Here is the fourth in our series of blogs about women pilots in Alaskan aviation history!

 Ginny Wood is one of the most famous female pilots in Alaskan history. She got her start flying while she was a student at the University of Washington. During her senior year she applied to the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1941, which had been established in 1939 in order for the United States military to train pilots to prepare for war. In 1943, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), which would eventually become the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). In 1947, Wood came to Fairbanks, and she primarily stayed there for the rest of her life. She and Celia Hunter (a fellow WASP and Alaskan aviator who will be featured in a future post in this series) flew tourists to Kotzebue and worked as a stewardess/tour guides. In the summer of 1952, Wood, her husband Morton “Woody” Wood, and their good friend Celia Hunter founded Camp Denali, Alaska’s first remote wilderness camp. She also helped found the Alaska Conservation Society, Alaska’s first environmental organization. Although she started out as a pilot, she is primarily remembered for her pioneering environmental conservation work in Alaska.


Ginny Wood, wearing her WASP uniform, walking away from the P-61 Black Widow after a flight near the end of World War II. Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska. Photograph, caption, and information from Women Pilots of Alaska by Sandi Sumner (2005) and Boots, Bikes, and Bombers: Adventures of Alaska Conservationist Ginny Hill Wood by Karen Brewster (2012).

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