City of Monrovia to Host the Unveiling of the Third Neighborhood Treasure
The City is excited to announce Monrovia’s third Neighborhood Treasure, Bettie Mae Scott. A Block Party to commemorate the event has been scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the 500 block of West Maple Avenue (between Mayflower Avenue and Hwy Esplanade).
The Neighborhood Treasure Program celebrates Monrovia heroes for their contributions to the community through the placement of public art pieces that are each unique to the person being honored. Our next Neighborhood Treasure, Bettie Mae Scott, was born in 1921 and was the daughter of the Monrovia Police Chief, Frank Scott. She was a hometown girl who attended the Monrovia Arcadia Duarte High School and Pasadena City College (“PCC”), and was trained with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (“WASP”) in Sweetwater, Texas as a ferry and test pilot.
As a WASP in World War II, Bettie Mae was among the first women trained to fly an American military aircraft. However, in July 1944, Bettie Mae was killed in Waco, Texas, shortly after take-off testing a newly repaired BT-13 to see if it was airworthy for a male pilot. She died two weeks before her 23rd birthday, and had been engaged to be married later that month.
As WASP’s were not officially recognized by the military until many years later, Bettie Mae was sent home without military honors, and her fellow pilots paid for her body to be returned home. However, on the day of her funeral, many Monrovia businesses closed and the Monrovia Police and Fire Departments escorted her body to its final resting place at Live Oak Cemetery. She was one of only thirty-eight WASPs killed in WW-II while serving their country.
In 2000, PCC selected Bettie Mae to be one of their 75 most distinguished alumni. On March 10, 2010, Bettie Mae was posthumously honored at a Congressional Medal ceremony in Washington, DC, where all WASPs were presented gold medals for their service.
We hope that everyone will join us on Nov. 17, when we recognize Bettie Mae for her contributions, and host a neighborhood block party with fun for the whole family. If you have any questions, please call Ariel Tolefree-Williams at (626) 932-5563.