Susan Ahn Cuddy was one seriously tough woman, who wore many hats — and broke many barriers — throughout her life.
She was the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics. During World War II, Lieutenant Cuddy trained Navy pilots in dogfighting maneuvers and firing .50-caliber machine guns.
But her children, Flip and Christine Cuddy, didn’t know about her accomplishments until later in life. In 2018, they came to StoryCorps to remember her.
Top photo: Susan Ahn Cuddy (far right) at the US Naval Air Station in Florida in 1943. Courtesy of Flip Cuddy.
Middle photo: Susan Ahn Cuddy in uniform. Courtesy of Flip Cuddy.
Middle photo: Susan Ahn Cuddy training a sailor in how to fire a .50-caliber machine gun. Courtesy of Flip Cuddy.
Bottom photo: Christine Cuddy and Flip Cuddy at StoryCorps in Northridge, CA. By Naomi Blech for StoryCorps.
Originally aired August 17, 2019 on NPR’s Weekend Edition.