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Female World War II pilot recently honored at air show dies at 100

SOUTH BRISTOL, N.Y. -- A 100-year-old woman honored at a New York air show last weekend for her World War II service as a civilian pilot flying military aircraft has died.

According to her obituary posted on the Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home website, Dawn Seymour died Tuesday at her home in the Finger Lakes region. Seymour was among the female aviators honored during the National Warplane Museum air show in nearby Geneseo.

The Rochester native earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1939. During WWII she served with the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASPs. Seymour and her fellow WASPs flew bombers and other warplanes in the U.S. to free up male pilots for combat service overseas.

Dawn Seymour in 2010 CBS News

"I flew gunners on their training missions to learn how to fire the 50-caliber machine guns from a moving platform to a moving target," Seymour told CBS News' David Martin in 2010.

In 2010, the WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, among the nation's highest civilian honors.

In November 2016, Seymour told CBS affiliate WROC-TV what she had learned over the course of her life.

"We must find some way in solving our difficulties and our challenges besides killing each other," Seymour said. "And that's the message I'd like to leave. And when you notice people being kind to you, thank them, and you be kind to other people.  And I think that's the message I'd like to leave."  

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