Today in History – October 26, 1944 – Tommy Tomkins still missing after P-51 is lost.

26 October 1944 – “At approximately 4:00 p.m., Civilian Pilot Gertrude [Tommy] Tompkins took off from Mines Field, California (now LAX) in a newly-manufactured North American Aviation P-51D-15-NA Mustang, serial number 44-15669, on a flight to deliver it to New Jersey where it would be prepared for shipment to England.

“Tommy” Tompkins was scheduled to make an overnight stop at Palm Springs, California. She never arrived.

Due to a series of errors, it was four days before the military recognized that Tompkins was missing. An extensive search was undertaken but was unsuccessful.

Gertrude Tompkins (Mrs. Harry M. Silver) was listed as Missing, Presumed Dead. She was one of 38 WASP pilots who died in service during World War II. She remains the only Women Airforce Service Pilots member still missing.” (1)

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