Our friends at the Canadian War Museum have this lovely photograph of Wing Officer Willa Walker in their collection, and it is currently on display as part of the traveling exhibition “World War Women /Grandes Guerres. Grandes Femmes.”
Wilhelmina Walker was the Commander of the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. When her husband was incarcerated in a German Prisoner of War camp, Walker sent him escape maps hidden in the soles of shoes that were part of Red Cross packages. She joined the Canadian Air Force (Women’s Division) in 1941, finished first in her officer training class, and quickly became senior staff officer for the Air Force’s 17,000 servicewomen.
Next stop for the exhibition is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope, Ontario (opening July, 2017)
Yousuf Karsh photographed Wing Officer Walker in 1942.