The True Story of Betty Greene, the First Missionary Aviation Pilot

Laura Wickham | September 14th 2021

The following text is the full biography featured in the back of a new children’s book about Betty Greene’s inspiring life by Laura Wickham. This beautifully illustrated book can be read to young children aged 4-5 and read by children aged 6 or older.


Betty—together with her twin brother, Bill—was born in Seattle, USA on the 24th of June. Betty’s parents loved Jesus and often shared Bible stories with her and her brothers. They also ran a Sunday school for all the local children.


Betty was only seven years old when pilot Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic. This sparked an interest in aeroplanes in Betty, which became a real passion when her big brother, Joe, started to take flying lessons. Joe would tell Betty everything he’d learned, and Betty would listen, wishing that one day she too could fly.


A few years later, a generous uncle gave Betty $100. This was a lot of money back then. America was going through a long period of poverty called the Great Depression. Betty used some of the money for things she needed, like clothes and shoes, but the rest went toward flying lessons.

When World War II started, Betty used her skills to serve with the Women Airforce Service Pilots, also known as WASPs. She even became part of a research project that sent pilots way up high, through the stratosphere!


After WASPs were dissolved, Betty helped to set up a mission called CAMF, which is today known as MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship).

MAF’s goal was to send help to those parts of the world that were isolated or hard to reach.


On February 23rd, 25-year-old Betty took the first MAF flight on a four-seat cabin Waco biplane. After a little hiccup, she arrived safely in the remote Mexican jungle.

This was only the first of many incredible adventures. Throughout her life, Betty made over 4,640 flights and served in 12 countries, landing in around 20 more.

She was not only the first pilot to fly for MAF but also the first woman to fly over the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, as well as the first woman to fly a plane to Sudan.

Betty Greene’s story has been turned into an inspiring children’s biography. The Do Great Things For God series, written by Laura Wickham, explores the lives of amazing Christian women and will enthuse young children about the great things they can do for God. The series also includes the stories of Gladys Aylward, Betsey Stockton and Corrie ten Boom.

Laura Wickham

Laura Caputo-Wickham is a children’s author from Rome, now living in Kent with her husband, James, two young daughters and a cat. In her spare time, Laura is involved with her church’s toddler group and helps the children in her local school with their reading.

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