Anne Noggle

WASP 44-W-1


Anne Noggle, long time Albuquerque resident, noted photographer and writer passed away in her sleep August 16th.  She was 83 years old

Anne, 2001's Wings Across America interview.

            Ms. Noggle’s first love was flying.  During World War II she was a Women’s Air Force Service Pilot (WASP).   After the war she continued to fly, finding work as a crop duster as well as teaching flying in small airports throughout the country. She landed in the airport outside of Santa Fe, and knew than she would eventually live there. In New Mexico she found deep and lasting friendships, and a sky that never ceased to fascinate her.

            Ms. Noggle graduated with a Masters in Art from University of New Mexico in 1969. At the UNM Art Department she developed her keen eye as a photographer, and her interest in making images of women as they aged, including her witty and challenging self portraits.  She taught at UNM as an adjunct professor of Art from 1970-1984.  She received national recognition for her work as part of a National Endowment for the Arts grant for a New Mexico photographic survey (1981), two photographers grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1978), and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship (1982).  Her photographs have been exhibited in and collected by Museums throughout the world.  UNM gave Ms. Noggle an honorary doctorate, acknowledging her extensive contribution to the field of art and art history.

       Ms. Noggle’s books celebrated the accomplishments of women.  In 1975 she co-curated an exhibition and catalog for the San Francisco Museum of Art, Women of Photography: An Historical Survey.  This exhibition was of singular importance in introducing the work of American women photographers to a broader audience. 

 It was natural that she would make portraits of her fellow WASPs as older women.  These portraits were published in For God, Country and the Thrill of It:  Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II (1990). Her essay ““Remembrance” celebrated the contributions their contributions to World War II:

“How few women have had the opportunity not only to fly for our Air Force, but to be thrown together willy-nilly in training and to know the bonding that usually is associated with groups who live and work in close proximity.  This sense of belonging is all the more intense when the duties involve danger.”

             Ms. Noggle was 68 years old when she traveled to the Soviet Union to photograph and record the stories of the women Soviet Army veterans.  These women were the first women to fly combat.  Without Ms. Noggle’s dedication these women’s astonishing stories might have been lost to history.  Her book, A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II (1994), tells their riveting experiences and documents the paths of their lives with her contemporary portraits.  In June 2005 Ms. Noggle attended a reunion in San Diego with some of the Russian women pilots.

    In 1983 UNM Press published Silver Lining. This out-of-print book showcased Ms. Noggle’s photographs that documented the challenges she and other women in America faced as they grew older. She described her experience as a photographer:

“To look straight into a face and find the pulse of what it is to be human, that is what fuels me, that is the sum of my mind and my longing. I am always aware of our unceasing engagement with time and space- our ultimate limitations- translated into life and death.”

            Ms. Noggle is survived by devoted friends and her niece Dale Pease. A memorial service will be held at UNM Alumni Chapel September 20th at 5:30 PM.

Anne (left) placing her hands in cement, May 27th
at the first WASP Memorial Fly In, Avenger Field, Sweetwater, TX.

Further questions please contact Diana Benavidez Lynn Ann Davis at

Anne with her best friends--
surrounded by her beautiful photographs

Books by Anne Noggle:
A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in WWII
For God, Country and the Thrill of it all: Women Airforce Service Pilots

Silver Lining

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Museum of Contemporary Photography
Photographs of Anne Noggle

Portrait of a Beauty Queen


Reprinted with permission, August 23, 2005

photos -- Wings Across America