Late Leo aviator to get Congressional Gold Medal

Margaret Ringenberg
Margaret Ringenberg
Margaret Ringenberg

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A woman who was a pioneer of aviation is being honored with a Congressional Gold Medal for helping defend the nation during World War II. On December 10, the late Margaret Ringenberg, along with several others, will be recognized for their work with the Civil Air Patrol.

It’s a volunteer group that protected the United States from German U-boat attacks, and carried out other vital domestic missions. Ringenberg was a founder of the Fort Wayne Civil Air Patrol squadron, in which she is said to have transported people, documents, and supplies during World War II.

In 1943, she started flying in the Women Airforce Service Pilots Corp. of WASP’s. She logged more than 40,000 hours of flight time in her iconic career.

Originally from Leo, Ringenberg was 72-years-old when she flew around the world. She died in 2008 in Wisconsin at age 87.

Members of the Fort Wayne Civil Air Patrol will receive Ringenberg’s Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony on Capitol Hill December 10.  It will later be presented to the family.

“She was young at this point. It was, I think, a rare opportunity for a woman to get involved in something like that. She was so passionate about aviation. This was just an awesome thing for her to be able to do,” said Marsha Wright, Ringenberg’s daughter. “It isn’t like a great trophy for racing around the world or getting 1st place in a big race. It’s doing what she knew she could do to help her country. I think that’s really cool.”

Margaret Ringenberg
Margaret Ringenberg

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