Mildred “Micky” Axton was born January 9, 1919, in Coffeyville, Kansas to Ralph and Beatrice Tuttle. Axton’s neighbor was a member of the Inman Brothers Barnstorming Flying Circus, and he took her up in a Curtiss Jenny biplane for her first airplane ride. Axton attended Coffeyville Community College, transferred to Kansas State University in 1938 and graduated with a teaching certificate in 1940. After graduation Axton taught chemistry at Coffeyville Community College and attended Civilian Pilot Training where she obtained her pilot’s license. On June 1, 1941 Axton married David Axton and the couple moved to Wichita.
In 1943, Axton joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) training class. After graduating the program, Axton was posted to the Pecos Army Airfield Base in Pecos, Texas where she flew BT-13, AT-6, and UC-78s as a test pilot. In 1944, Axton quit the WASP program after her mother had fallen ill. Axton took a job as a test pilot at the Boeing aircraft factory in Wichita. In May 1944 Axton became the first woman to fly a B-29.
After World War II, Axton became a teacher at East High School in Wichita from 1958 to 1969 as well as being an active member of the Commemorative Air Force. On July 1, 2009 the women who served in WASP were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which honors those who have performed an outstanding service to the United States. Axton died February 6, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Entry: Axton, Mildred
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history
Date Created: June 2012
Date Modified: July 2016
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