Women Airforce Service Pilots
The WASP badge.
Elizabeth L. Gardner, WASP member at the controls of a B-26 Marauder.
|Formed||August 5, 1943|
|Dissolved||December 20, 1944|
|Employees||1,830 accepted for training |
1,074 completed training
|Parent agency||United States Army Air Forces|
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), referred to by some as the Women's Army Service Pilots, was a civilian women pilots' organization, whose members were United States federal civil service employees. The WASP and its members had no military standing. It had two predecessors, the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), both were organized separately in September 1942. They were the pioneering organizations of civilian women pilots, who were attached to the United States Army Air Forces to fly military aircraft during World War II. On August 5, 1943, the WFTD and WAFS merged to create the WASP organization.
Over 25,000 women made application to join the WASP; 1,830 were accepted but only 1,074 completed the training. The applicants all had prior experience and airman certificates. While the majority of those accepted into the WASP were Caucasian women, its members also included Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee both Chinese Americans, Ola Mildred Rexroat a Native American, and two Mexican Americans. Mildred Hemmans Carter, the only African American applicant, was asked to withdraw her application because of her race. In 1940, at age 19, she had earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Tuskegee Institute. The following year, she received her aviation certification. Because of her gender, Carter was also rejected from flying with the Tuskegee Airmen. Seventy years later, she was recognized retroactively as a WASP, and she took her final flight at age 90.
The WASP arrangement with the US Army Air Forces ended on December 20, 1944. During its period of operation, each member's service had freed a male pilot for military combat or other duties. They flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one disappeared while on a ferry mission, her fate still (2018) unknown. In 1977, for their World War II service, the members were granted veteran status, and in 2009 awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
- 1 Creation of the WASP
- 2 Initial WASP training
- 3 End of the WASP program
- 4 Notable WASP aviators
- 5 Fictional depiction
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Creation of the WASP
By the summer of 1941, Florida native Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran and test-pilot Nancy Harkness Love had independently submitted proposals to the U.S. Army Air Forces (the forerunner to the United States Air Force) to allow women pilots in non-combat missions, after the outbreak of World War II in Europe. The reason: to free male pilots for combat roles by using qualified female pilots to ferry aircraft from the factories to military bases, and also to tow drones and aerial targets. Prior to Pearl Harbor, General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, commander of the USAAF, had turned down both Love's 1940 proposal and that of the better connected and more famous Cochran, despite the lobbying for them by Eleanor Roosevelt. However, he essentially promised the command to Cochran, should such a force be needed in the future.
Before the United States entered World War II, Cochran had gone to England to volunteer to fly for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). The ATA had been using female pilots since January 1940, and was starting to also train new pilots. The American women who flew in the ATA were the first American women to fly military aircraft. They flew the Royal Air Force's frontline aircraft—Spitfires, Typhoons, Hudsons, Mitchells, Blenheims, Oxfords, Walruses, and Sea Otters—in non-combat roles, but in combat-like conditions. Most of these women served in the ATA during the war. Only three members returned to the U.S. to participate in the WASP program.
The U.S. was building its air power and military presence in anticipation of direct involvement in the conflict, and had belatedly begun to drastically expand its men in uniform. This period led to the dramatic increase in activity for the U.S. Army Air Forces, because of obvious gaps in "manpower" that could be filled by women. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, to  compensate for the manpower demands of the military, the government encouraged women to enter the workforce to fill both industrial and service jobs supporting the war effort.
To those most involved within the new Ferrying Division of the Air Transport Command (ATC), the numbers were painfully obvious. Col. William H. Tunner was in charge of acquiring civilian ferry pilots. He decided to integrate a civilian force of female pilots into the AAF, after speaking with Major Robert M. Love, ATC staff officer, and his wife Nancy. Convinced of the feasibility of the program by Mrs. Love, who had a Commercial Pilot License, he asked her to draw up a proposal, unaware that Arnold had shelved a similar proposal by Tunner's superior, Maj. Gen. Robert Olds.
Cochran had committed to go to Great Britain in March 1942 for the trial program of female pilots with the ATA. She used her association with the President and Mrs. Roosevelt to lobby Arnold to reject any plan that did not commission women, and set up an independent organization commanded by women. Ironically, Tunner's proposal called for commissioning women in the WAACs, but was turned down after review by Arnold.
By the mid-summer of 1942, Arnold was willing to consider the prior proposals seriously. Tunner and Love's plan was reviewed by the ATC headquarters, and forwarded by commander Gen. Harold L. George to Arnold, who was fully aware of it and gave it his blessing, after Mrs. Roosevelt had suggested a similar idea in a newspaper column. The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) was headed by Mrs. Love, and went into operation on September 10, 1942. Soon, the Air Transport Command began using women to ferry planes from factory to airfields.
Cochran returned to the United States on September 10, 1942, as the new organization was being publicized, and immediately confronted Arnold for an explanation. Arnold claimed ignorance and blamed the ATC staff, in particular George's chief of staff, Col. (and former president of American Airlines) C. R. Smith. With the publicity involved, the WAFS program could not be reversed, and so on September 15, 1942, Cochran's training proposal was also adopted. Cochran and Love's squadrons were thereby established separately. The 319th Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) at the Municipal Airport (now Hobby. Airport) in Houston, Texas, with Cochran as commanding officer, and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, the 2nd Ferrying Group at New Castle (Delaware) Army Air Base (now New Castle Airport).
Though rivals, the two programs and their respective leaders operated independently, and without acknowledgment of each other until the summer of 1943. When Cochran pushed aggressively for a single entity to control the activity of all women pilots. Tunner, in particular, objected on the basis of differing qualification standards, and the absolute necessity of the ATC being able to control its own pilots. But Cochran's preeminence with Arnold prevailed, and in July 1943 he ordered the programs merged, with Cochran as director. The WAFS and the WFTD were combined to form the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Love continued with the program as executive in charge of WASP ferrying operations.
Initial WASP training
The WASP training spanned 19 groups of women: The Originals, or WAFS led by Nancy Love, and The Guinea Pigs—Jacqueline Cochran's first of 18 classes of women pilots. They were required to complete the same primary, basic, and advanced training courses as male Army Air Corps pilots and many of them went on to specialized flight training. Of the two Chinese-American women in the WASP, Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee, only one survived the war. Hazel Ying Lee died following a runway collision, but Maggie Gee survived. The only Native American woman in the WASP, Ola Mildred Rexroat, an Oglala Sioux woman from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, also survived the war and later joined the Air Force.
The WAFS each had an average of about 1,400 flying hours and a commercial pilot rating. They received 30 days of orientation to learn Army paperwork and to fly by military regulations. Afterward, they were assigned to various ferrying commands.
The Guinea Pigs started training at the Houston Municipal Airport, now William P. Hobby Airport, (Texas) on November 16, 1942, as part of the 319th Army Air Force Women's Flying Training Detachment (AAFWFTD). This was just after the WAFS had started their orientation in Wilmington, Delaware. Unlike the WAFS, the women that reported to Houston did not have uniforms and had to find their own lodging. The "Woofteddies" (WFTD) also had minimal medical care, no life insurance, crash truck, or fire truck, and the ambulance was loaned from the Ellington Army Airfield, along with insufficient administrative staff, and a hodgepodge of aircraft—23 types—for training. As late as January 1943, when the third class was about to start their training, the three classes were described by Byrd Granger in On Final Approach, as "a raggle-taggle crowd in a rainbow of rumpled clothing", while they gathered for morning and evening colors.
This lack of resources, combined with the foggy and wet Houston weather delayed the graduation of the first class from February to April 1943. Conditions included the wet, sticky, clay soil everywhere, and a scarcity of rest rooms, which made the potential for morale problems significant. To minimize this, the Fifinella Gazette was started. The first issue was published February 10, 1943. The female gremlin Fifinella was conceived by Roald Dahl and drawn by Walt Disney, and used as the official WASP mascot that appeared on their shoulder patches.
The first Houston class started with 38 women with a minimum of 200 hours. Twenty-three graduated on April 24, 1943, at the only Houston WASP graduation at Ellington Army Air Field. The second Houston class, started in December 1942 with a minimum of 100 hours, but finished their training just in time to move to Sweetwater, Texas and become the first graduating class from Avenger Field on May 28, 1943. The third class completed their advanced training at Avenger Field and graduated July 3, 1943. Half of the fourth class of 76 women started their primary training in Houston on February 15, 1943, and then transferred to Sweetwater. On March 7, 1943, the Houston classes incurred their first fatality. Margaret Oldenburg of 43-W-4 and her instructor, Norris G. Morgan, crashed seven miles south of Houston and were killed on impact. By the end of May 1943, the Houston 319th AAFWFTD was history. Later in the summer of 1943, both the WAFS and WFTD were combined into the WASP.
Duties of the WASP
Each member had a pilot's license, but was retrained to fly the Army way by the U.S. Army Air Forces at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. More than 25,000 women applied for the WASP, but only 1,830 were accepted into the program. During the course of their training, it was reported that 552 women were released for lack of flying proficiency, 152 resigned, 27 were discharged for medical reasons, and 14 were dismissed for disciplinary reasons. After completing four months of military flight training, 1,074 of them earned their wings and became the first women to fly American military aircraft. While the WASP were not trained for combat, their course of instruction was essentially the same as male aviation cadets. They received no gunnery training and very little formation and aerobatic flying, but went through the maneuvers necessary to be able to recover from any position. The percentage of those eliminated compared favorably with the elimination rate for male cadets' in the Central Flying Training Command.
After their training, the WASP were stationed at 122 air bases across the U.S., where they assumed numerous flight-related missions, and relieved male pilots for combat duty. They flew sixty million miles of operational flights, from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation and military training bases. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. The women flew almost every type of aircraft flown by the USAAF during World War II. In addition, a few exceptionally qualified women were allowed to test rocket-propelled planes, to pilot jet-propelled planes, and to work with radar-controlled targets. Between September 1942 and December 1944, the WASP delivered 12,650 aircraft of 78 different types.
Thirty-eight members lost their lives in accidents, eleven died during training, and twenty-seven were killed on active duty missions. Because they were not considered part of the military by the guidelines, a fallen WASP was sent home at family expense. Traditional military honors or note of heroism, such as allowing the U.S. flag to be placed on the coffin or displaying a service flag in a window, were not allowed.
Request for military status
The WASP members were U.S. federal civil service employees, and did not qualify for military benefits. Each member paid for her own transportation costs to training sites, for her dress uniforms and room and board. Although attached to the U.S. Army Air Forces, the members could resign at any time after completion of their training. On September 30, 1943, the first of the WASP militarization bills was introduced in the United States House of Representatives. Both Cochran and Arnold desired a separate corps headed by a woman colonel (similar to the WAC, WAVES, SPARS, and the Marine Corps Women's Reserve heads). The War Department, however, consistently opposed the move, because there was no separate corps for male pilots as distinguished from unrated AAF officers. Instead, it preferred that women be commissioned in the WAC, and added to some 2,000 "Air WAC" officers assigned to flying duty, legally permissible.
End of the WASP program
On June 21, 1944, the U.S. House bill to provide the WASP with military status was narrowly defeated. The civilian male pilots lobbied against the bill: reacting to closure of some civilian flight training schools, and the termination of two male pilot training commissioning programs. The House Committee on the Civil Service (Ramspeck Committee) reported on June 5, 1944, that it considered the WASP unnecessary, unjustifiably expensive, and recommended that the recruiting and training of inexperienced women pilots be halted.
Cochran had been pushing for a resolution of the question: in effect, delivering an ultimatum to either commission the women or disband the program. The AAF had developed an excess of pilots and pilot candidates. As a result, Arnold (who had been a proponent of militarization) ordered that the WASP be disbanded by December 20, 1944. Arnold is quoted from a speech he delivered at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas on December 7, 1944:
"The WASP has completed its mission. Their job has been successful. But as is usual in war, the cost has been heavy. Thirty-eight WASP have died while helping their country move toward the moment of final victory. The Air Forces will long remember their service and their final sacrifice."
It was also on December 20, 1944 that the final class of WASP pilots, 71 women in total, graduated from their training regardless of the plan to disband the WASP program within the following two weeks. Following the announcement approximately 20 WASP members offered to continue ferrying aircraft for the compensation of US$1.00 (equivalent to $13.92 in 2017) a year apiece but this offer was rejected. Following the group's disbandment some WASP members were allowed to fly on board government aircraft from their former bases to the vicinity of their homes as long as room was available and no additional expenses were incurred. Others had to arrange and pay for their own transportation home. At the conclusion of the WASP program, 915 women pilots were on duty with the AAF: 620 assigned to the Training Command, 141 to the Air Transport Command, 133 to the numbered air forces in the continental United States, 11 to the Weather Wing, 9 to the technical commands and one to the Troop Carrier Command. The WASP members ferried fifty percent of the combat aircraft during the war to 126 bases across the United States. Because of the pioneering and the expertise they demonstrated in successfully flying military aircraft the WASP records showed that women pilots, when given the same training as men pilots, were as capable as men in non-combat flying. During November 1944 WASP members at Maxwell Air Field founded the Order of Fifinella organization. The organization's initial goals were to help the former WASP members find employment and maintain contact between themselves. Through the years the Order of Fifinella issued newsletters, helped influence legislation and organized reunions. The group held its final meeting in 2008 and was disbanded in 2009.
The records of the WASP program, like nearly all wartime files, were classified and sealed for 35 years making their contributions to the war effort little known and inaccessible to historians. In 1975 under the leadership of Col. Bruce Arnold, the son of General Hap Arnold, along with the surviving WASP members organized as a group again and began what they called the "Battle of Congress". Their goal was to gain public support and have the WASP officially recognized as veterans of World War II. In 1977 the records were unsealed after an Air Force press release erroneously stated the Air Force was training the first women to fly military aircraft for the U.S. Documents were compiled that showed during their service WASP members were subject to military discipline, assigned top secret missions and many members were awarded service ribbons after their units were disbanded. It was also shown that WASP member Helen Porter had been issued a Honorable Discharge certificate by her commanding officer following her service. This time, the WASPs lobbied Congress with the important support of Senator Barry Goldwater, who himself had been a World War II ferry pilot in the 27th Ferrying Squadron. During hearings on the legislation opposition to the WASP members being given military recognition was voiced by the Veterans Administration, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
President Jimmy Carter signed legislation, P.L.95–202, Section 401, The G.I. Bill Improvement Act of 1977, providing that service as a WASP would be considered "active duty" for the purposes of programs administered by the Veterans Administration. Honorable Discharge certificates were issued to the former WASP members in 1979. In 1984, each WASP was awarded the World War II Victory Medal. Those who served for more than one year were also awarded American Theater Ribbon/American Campaign Medal for their service during the war. Many of the medals were accepted by the recipients' sons and daughters on their behalf.
The 1977 legislation, either despite or because of its language, did not expressly allow WASPs to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. That was because Arlington National Cemetery, unlike most other national cemeteries, is administered by the Department of the Army, not the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Secretary of the Army determines eligibility for Arlington burial. The reason for the position taken by the Army on this issue may have been the rapidly diminishing space at Arlington. But in 2002, the Army re-considered and decided that deceased WASPS were able to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 2015, however, the Army re-interpreted the law and its own regulations against the backdrop of thirteen years of war, which once again threatened to deplete the cemetery of land. The Army ruled that the 1977 statute did not mandate the burial of deceased WASPs at Arlington Legislation in 2016 seemingly overruled the Army's interpretation and it was widely reported that WASPs could "again" be buried at Arlington. The 2016 law revived the long-held concern about limited space at the cemetery. Thus, the legislation in the 114th Congress (S.2437 by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) and H.R. 4336 by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Arizona), a retired Air Force fighter pilot), provides only for inurnment of cremated remains and not ground burial.
In 2002 WASP member Deanie Bishop Parrish with her daughter began plans for a museum dedicated to telling the WASPs story. The hangar building used for the museum, Hangar One, was originally built in 1929 and was part of the Sweetwater Municipal Airport facilities which became Avenger Field. In 2005 the National WASP WWII Museums grand opening was planned for May 28, 2005 which was the 62 anniversary of the first WASP graduating class. Along with the displays of uniforms, vehicles and other artifacts are several aircraft. These include a Boeing-Stearman Model 75 biplane, a Fairchild PT-19 trainer, a UC-78 Bamboo Bomber and a Vultee BT-13 Valiant trainer that was donated in September 2017.
On July 1, 2009 President Barack Obama and the United States Congress awarded the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. Three of the roughly 300 surviving WASPs were on hand to witness the event. During the ceremony President Obama said, "The Women Airforce Service Pilots courageously answered their country's call in a time of need while blazing a trail for the brave women who have given and continue to give so much in service to this nation since. Every American should be grateful for their service, and I am honored to sign this bill to finally give them some of the hard-earned recognition they deserve." On May 10, 2010, the 300 surviving WASPs came to the US Capitol to accept the Congressional Gold Medal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders. On New Year's Day in 2014 the Rose Parade featured a float with eight WASP members riding on it.
Notable WASP aviators
- Mildred Darlene "Micky" Tuttle Axton
- Betty Tackaberry Blake, the last surviving member of the first WASP training group (Class 43-W-1 at Sweetwater, Texas, graduated April 24, 1943), died April 9, 2015.
- Mary S. Reineberg Burchard (1916–2012), class of 44-W-6.
- Ann Baumgartner Carl
- Pearl Laska Chamberlain – First woman to solo a single-engine airplane up the Alaska Highway in 1946.
- Elizabeth "Betty" Maxine Chambers
- Jacqueline Cochran – Director of the WASP. In 1938, Cochran became famous nationwide for winning the Bendix Transcontinental Race.
- Violet Cowden
- Rosa Charlyne Creger
- Nancy Batson Crews
- Selma Cronan
- Nancye Ruth Lowe Crout, (Class 43-W-4), died January 21, 2016.
- Iris Cummings
- Jeanne P. d'Ambly – member of the 43-W-5 class
- Cornelia Fort – One of the original WAFS. Fort's experience included evading attacking IJNAS carrier planes at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She became the first WAFS fatality in a midair collision while flying a BT-13 near Merkel, Texas on March 23, 1943.
- Maggie Gee – One of only two Asian-Americans (Chinese) in the WASP, the other being Hazel Ying Lee.
- Betty Gillies
- Ann Warren Griffith, writer, wrote about her WASP experiences in The New Yorker
- Betty Haas Pfister
- Lois Hailey
- Elaine D. Harmon, first WASP aviator inurned at Arlington National Cemetery
- Sara Payne Hayden
- Bernice Falk Haydu
- Gloria Heath
- Carla Horowitz
- Celia Hunter
- Marge Hurlburt – She was named to the Board of Directors of the Professional Race Pilots Association to represent the interests of female pilots and held the woman's international airspeed record at the time her death in July 1947. Marge died while performing as part of a flying circus that she joined to raise money to build a new racing airplane.
- Janet Hutchinson – of the Flying Hutchinsons, joined at age 18.
- Teresa James
- Marguerite "Ty" Hughes Killen
- Hazel Ying Lee – One of two Asian-Americans (Chinese) in the WASP, the other being Maggie Gee. Lee was the last WASP member to die while serving in program.
- Dorothy Swain Lewis – Worked at Piper Aircraft Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, Graduate of Phoebe Omlie's Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics Women Aviation Instructor Program in Nashville TN (Feb 1943), Instructed Navy pilots V-5 program classes 43F, W3G, W3H, Instructed WASP classes 43-W8,44-W2,44-W4, joined WASP in class 44-W7&5, towed targets in B-26, engineering flights various other aircraft, sculpted WASP trainee statue on United States Air Force Academy Honor Court, Colorado Springs, painted official portrait of Janet Reno for US Department of Justice
- Doris Lockness
- Barbara Erickson London – The only WASP member to be awarded the Air Medal during World War II. Following the war, medals were awarded to other WASP members.
- Grace Elizabeth "Betty" Ashwell Lotowycz 44-W-7
- Nancy Love
- Iola "Nancy" Clay Magruder A member of class 44-W-7, her orders sent her to Enid, Oklahoma where she flew BT-13, BT-15, AT-6, PT-17, and B-18.
- Annabelle Craft Moss – Moss flew the AT-6 Trainer, and was responsible for transporting officers from base to base.
- Anne Noggle – Following the war she became a noted photographer and writer. She took the photos for For God, Country and the Thrill of It: Women Airforce Pilots of World War II, with an introduction by Dora Dougherty Strother.
- Deanie Bishop Parrish
- Suzanne Upjohn DeLano Parish, co-founder of Kalamazoo Air Museum, later called the Air Zoo.
- Vilma Lazar Qualls (May 5, 1917 – November 2, 2003) A member of class 43-W-3, she was assigned to Long Beach Army Airbase after training. She flew BT-13, C-47, B-17 and B-24.
- Mabel Rawlinson
- Florence "Shutsy" Reynolds (b. 1923) – earned her pilot's license in 1941, just before women were barred from the government-operated training program at local airports due to the expected need of more male pilots. Following the death of her husband around 1988, she took over the WASP organization's "Stores" job, making and selling intricate silver and bronze jewelry, banners, scarves and other WASP-themed items.
- Ola Mildred Rexroat, An Oglala Sioux from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, was the only Native American woman in the WASP.
- Margaret Ringenberg
- Dawn Seymour
- Evelyn Sharp – In 1938, Evelyn Sharp was the youngest person in the United States to receive a commercial pilot license.
- Gertrude Tompkins Silver – The only WASP member to go missing during World War II. She departed from Mines Field (currently LAX) for Palm Springs, on October 26, 1944, flying a P-51D Mustang destined for New Jersey but never arrived. In January 2010 search efforts to locate the possible crash site in Santa Monica Bay were unsuccessful.
- Jane Straughan, graduate of class 43-W-1.
- Elizabeth Strohfus – flew B-26 Widowmakers and pulled 6 G's in a F-16 at age 72. She died at 96 on March 6, 2016 in Faribault, MN.
- Dora Dougherty Strother
- Mary E. Williamson (1924–2012) 
- Ginny Wood
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- In the 1943 movie A Guy Named Joe, Pete Sandidge (Spencer Tracy) is the reckless pilot of a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber flying out of England during World War II. He is in love with Women Airforce Service Pilot Dorinda Durston (Irene Dunne), a civilian pilot ferrying aircraft across the Atlantic.
- Season 1, Episode 22 of Baa Baa Black Sheep was entitled W*A*S*P*S. It first aired on March 1, 1977. The episode has several errors of fact. Two are that there is no "s" at the end of the name, because the name itself is plural and the WASP never flew overseas.
- The novel Skies Over Sweetwater by Julia Moberg is entirely about WASP and follows the lives of fictional characters as they train.
- In the modern Wonder Woman continuity, Steve Trevor's mother, Diana Trevor, was a WASP who inadvertently crash-landed on Themyscira on a mission in the 1940s and died helping the Amazons fight an attacking menace.
- In 2000 novel Queen of Aces by Aaron Masters: an action adventure story about one of America's greatest pilots, Meg Reilly, as told first-hand by Aviation Life reporter Aaron Masters. Meg follows in the footsteps of her godmother Amelia Earhart and father Rye Reilly, a WWI MOH awardee, combat ace, and aircraft designer. Mock combat barnstormer and Bendix racer Meg soon becomes "First Lady of the Air" with the death of Amelia. With the outbreak of WWII, Meg is relegated to ferrying duty, first with the WAFS and later as a WASP, while her brothers become combat pilots. Meg makes a major contribution to the war only to be deactivated along with her fellow WASPs in 1944. Meg ventures to England with three other WASPs to conduct transition training on the new P-51D. Soon, the foursome is asked to secretly ferry these much-needed Mustangs to a forward base in France. On one particular mission, a vicious twist of fate thrusts her into combat—the first American woman ever to engage the enemy in hostile skies. (Top Publications, Dallas, TX). Note – Soon to be a movie by the same name (Silver Lion Films).
- The 2008 TV movie Warbirds features a WASP B-29 crew, whose plane is commandeered for a secret mission but crashes on a pteranodon-infested island.
- A 2009 episode of the TV show Cold Case features the investigators looking for the murderer of a WASP, after her plane is found in modern-day Philadelphia.
- In the 2012 Captain Marvel story from Marvel comics, Carol Danvers travels through time to 1943 where she fights alongside a squad of Women Airforce Service Pilots on an island off the coast of Peru.
- The 2010 novel "Fly Girl" by Sherri L Smith tells the story of Ida-Mae "Jonesy" Jones, a poor African American woman who dreams of becoming a pilot. She joins the WASP and serves until the war's end.
- The 2013 novel "The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion" tells the story of Fritzi and her sisters who helped out during the war by running their father's filling station and later flew with the WASPs.
- The 2010 novel "Silver Wings" by H.P. Munro tells the story of 6 women training at Avenger Field and their subsequent deployments. The story centers on Lily and Helen who meet and fall in love during their training.
- The 2010 historical novel "The Last Jump" relates the story of how male pilots of the top secret 509th Composite Group (who eventually dropped two atomic bombs) were "shamed" into flying the B-29 bomber by having WASP flyers deliver the first plane to Wendover AFB, Utah. CO Col. Paul Tibbets orchestrated the entire episode when he found out his "best pilots" were afraid to fly the "widowmaker".
- Season 3, Episode 15 of "Army Wives" is a flashback episode that mentions the WASP pilots from WWII
- Meredith Dayna Levy wrote a play called 'Decision Height' which tells the story of six WASP trainees.
- Dallas playwright Rusty Harding wrote a play entitled 'Fly Babies", a fictionalized story based on the WASPs.
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|Library resources about |
Women Airforce Service Pilots
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- Rickman, Sarah Byrn (2001). The Originals – The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II. Sarasota, FL: Disc-Us Books. ISBN 1-58444-263-8.
- Cole, Jean Hascall; Cole, Wendy (1992). Women Pilots of World War II. University of Utah Press. pp. 13, 18. ISBN 9780874804935.
- Granger, Byrd Howell (1991). On Final Approach. Scottsdale, AZ: Falconer Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 0-9626267-0-8.
- Granger, Byrd Howell (1991). On Final Approach. Scottsdale, AZ: Falconer Publishing. pp. 70–121. ISBN 0-9626267-0-8.
- "Training - Texas Woman's University". twu.edu.
- Hope, Virginia M. Virginia Hope Papers: Folder 1. 1942–44. Raw data. Minnesota Historical Society Library, St. Paul. Many Helpful Primary Source Letters, Stats., Lists, etc.
- Stewart-Smith, Natalie Jeanne (1981). "2". The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Of World War II: Perspectives On The Work Of America's First Military Women Aviators (Thesis). Washington State University. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Cochran, Jacqueline (1944). "Director Of Women Pilots Asks Military Status For WASPS" (PDF). Press Release. War Department. Bureau of Public Relations Press Branch. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Girl Pilots". Life Magazine. Time Inc: 73–81. 19 July 1943. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "WASP Bases". wingsacrossamerica.us. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
- Dromgoole, Glenn (2016). West Texas Stories. ACU Press. ISBN 9780891126744.
- Bohn, Kevin (May 22, 2009). "Unsung heroes of World War II finally get their due". CNN.
- Erdrich, Ronald W. (May 29, 2016). "Denial of Military Honors at Arlington Stings WASPs". Military.com. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Treadwell, Mattie E. (1991). United States Army In World War II Special Studies The Womens Army Corps. Center Of Military History United States Army Washington, D. C. p. 784.
- "Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)". Air Force Historical Support Division. United States Air Force. December 8, 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Hawkins, Regina Trice (1996). Hazel Jane Raines, Pioneer Lady of Flight. Mercer University Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780865545328.
- Merryman, Molly (2001-02-01). Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (Wasps) of World War II. NYU Press. pp. 120, 124, 150–152. ISBN 978-0-8147-5568-6.
- Stamberg, Susan. "Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls". NPR. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
'Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,' Arnold said.
- "Order of Fifinella & WASP, Inc. - Texas Woman's University". twu.edu. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- Williams, Rudi (March 19, 2003). "Defense.gov News Article: Women Aviators Finally Fill Cockpits of Military Aircraft". American Forces Press Service. archive.defense.gov.
- "Militarization of the WASPS". www.pbs.org. American Experience.
- Collins, Shannon (March 9, 2016). "WASP Pursued Love of Flying, Fought for Women Vets' Recognition". DoD News, Defense Media Activity. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "H.R.8701 - An Act to amend title 38, United States Code to increase the rates of vocational rehabilitation, educational assistance and special training allowance paid to eligible veterans and persons, to make improvements in the educational assistance programs, and for other purposes". Congress.gov. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Women in the Air Foce". www.aerofiles.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Establishing Eligibility". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- Jareen Imam; CNN (May 21, 2016). "WWII female pilots now can be buried at Arlington". CNN.
- "Obama Gets Bill to Allow Female Pilots' Ashes at Arlington". NBC News. Associated Press. May 12, 2016.
- Cotton, Tom (26 May 2017). "Arlington National Cemetery is running out of space. We must act to protect its future". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "All Information (Except Text) for H.R.4336 - An act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery of the cremated remains of certain persons whose service has been determined to be active service". Congress.gov. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "WASP Congressional Gold Medal". wingsacrossamerica.us.
- Tillilie, Stacey. "Women In The Wings". Baylor Magazine (Winter 2009-10).
- "WASP Museum welcomes Ables as new director". sweetwaterreporter.com.
- McMillan, Andrew. "13 female pilots to return to Sweetwater for WASP Homecoming 2017". KTXS. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "WASP Museum Exhibits". waspmuseum.org. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Restored BT-13 Donated to The National WASP Museum". Warbirds News. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Sprekelmeyer, Linda, editor. These We Honor: The International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Donning Co. Publishers, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57864-397-4.
- "WASP awarded Congressional Gold Medal for service". Af.mil. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Female WWII aviators honored with gold medal Archived March 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- The Daily Nightly (April 13, 2015). "Cheers for WWII women pilots honored at Rose Parade". NBC News.
- "Betty C.G.T. Blake". Veteran Tributes. Veteran Tributes, Gulfport, MS. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- Across, Wings. (2012-02-17) WASP Final Flight: WASP Mary Reinberg Burchard, 44-W-6 Jan. 28, 2012. Waspfinalflight.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- "Flying for Freedom" (PDF). Nationalmuseum.af.mil. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 26, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- hilaryparkinson (2014-12-20). "A WASP's Story". Prologue: Pieces of History. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
- "Charlyne Creger, WASP". Wingsacrossamerica.us. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "Factsheets : Unknown Fact Sheet". Nationalmuseum.af.mil. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "Selma Cronan". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- "Nancye Ruth Lowe Crout" (PDF). Texas Woman's University WASP.
- "Jeanne Perot D'Ambley" (PDF). Texas Woman's University WASP.
- "Lois E. Hailey – An Aviatrix from WWII". Wwii-women-pilots.org. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Briggs, John. A Singular Woman. Greenwich. July/August 1999.
- "Digital Collections : Item Viewer". Twudigital.cdmhost.com. February 7, 2005. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "Marge Hurlburt Is Killed While Stunting In Air Show". St. Petersburg Times. July 5, 1947. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
- Moore, Rose (16 March 2011). "'Medal for Marge' finds home at IWASM ..." Gazette News Online. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Famous pilot tells JU aviation students about her live in the clouds". Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- "Factsheets : Unknown Fact Sheet". Nationalmuseum.af.mil. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Parrish, Nancy (23 January 2011). "WASP Marguerite Ty Hughes Killen, 44-W-8". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Official Page of Janet Reno". Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "Doris Lockness, one of the country's most honored female pilots, dies at 106". Los Angeles Times. February 11, 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "Barbara Erickson London". Fact Sheets. National Museum of the Air Force. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- Michael Riley (2010-03-11). "Colorado women honored with the Congressional Gold Medal". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- "Grand Junction honored for service as World War II pilot". Wings and WASP. 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- "Anne Noggle WASP 44-W-1". Wings Across America. August 23, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "WASP Deanie Bishop Parrish". Wingsacrossamerica.us. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "Sue Parish". Air Zoo of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- "Women Airforce Service Pilots" (PDF). Texas Woman's University.
- "Fallen Hero: Fly Girl from Kalamazoo". Everyday Citizen. May 28, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (2002-11-11). http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20021111waspreg2p2.asp Fayette woman tells story of females flying on the WWII home front. Lash, Cindi. Retrieved, 2014-6-03.
-  Archived January 15, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Evelyn Sharp". Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame. Nebraska.gov. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- Ongoing Search For Mrs. Gertrude Tompkins Silver. Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West.
- "Search Underway for Missing Heroine of World War II and her P-51 Mustang | Scuba Diving Magazine". Scubadiving.com. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Ure, James W. (2017). Siezed [Sic] by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1613735879.
- "The Last Missing WASP of WWII". Adventures in Rediscovery. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- Madeleine Baran (August 13, 2009). "65 years later, female WWII test pilots finally recognized". mprnews.org.
- "Minnesota WWII-era pilot Elizabeth Strohfus dies at 96". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- "Elizabeth Strohfus, World War II-era pilot, dies at 96". washingtonpost.com. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- "Factsheets : Unknown Fact Sheet". Nationalmuseum.af.mil. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Finding aid for the Mary Ellen Williamson Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha. (online)
- ""Black Sheep Squadron" W*A*S*P*S (TV Episode 1977)". IMDb.
- Moberg, Julia. "Skies Over Sweetwater". juliamoberg.com. Julia Moberg. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Warbirds on IMDb
- jotix100 (November 30, 2009). ""Cold Case" WASP (TV Episode 2009)". IMDb.
- Captain Marvel #4 Post-Game with Kelly Sue DeConnick – IGN. Uk.ign.com (2012-10-02). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- Flygirl: Sherri L. Smith: 9780142417256: Amazon.com: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- "The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel: Fannie Flagg: 9781400065943: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- "Silver Wings: H. P. Munro: 9781482023572: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- "Amazon.com: The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II (9781432756659): John E. Nevola: Books". amazon.com.
- "'Decision Height' Demonstrates that Girl Power Never Gets Old".
- "Fly Babies (Heuer Publishing)".
- Clark, Marie Mountain. Dear Mother and Daddy: World War II Letters Home from a WASP. Livonia Michigan: First Page Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-928623-63-8.
- Cole, Jean Hascall. Women Pilots of World War II. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1992. ISBN 978-0-87480-493-5.
- Dubois, Ellen Carol, Lynn Dumenil. "Women in the Military". Through Women's Eyes. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. ISBN 978-0-312-67607-0.
- Granger, Byrd Howell. On Final Approach: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of W.W.II. New York: Falconer Publishing Co., 1991. ISBN 978-0-9626267-0-8.
- Haynsworth, Leslie and David Toomey. Amelia Earhart's Daughters. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1998. ISBN 978-0-688-15233-8.
- Keil, Sally Van Wagenen, Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines: The Unknown Heroines of World War II. New York: Four Directions Press, 1990. ISBN 0-9627659-0-2.
- LoPinto, Winnie, I was a Woman Pilot in 1945. Sheffield, UK: Green Leaf Publishing, 2001. ISBN 978-1-4912-8347-9
- Merryman, Molly. Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II. New York: New York University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8147-5568-2.
- Noggle, Anne. For God, Country and the Thrill of It: Women Airforce Service Pilots During WWII. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. 1990. ISBN 978-0-89096-401-9.
- Parrish, Nancy. WASP In Their Own Words – An Illustrated History of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Waco, Texas: Wings Across America Publications, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9703450-0-4.
- Rickman, Sarah Byrn. Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama's First Lady of Flight. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2009. ISBN 0-8173-5553-7.
- Rickman, Sarah Byrn. Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II (North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series). Denton, Texas:, 2008. ISBN 978-1-57441-241-3.
- Schrader, Helena. Sisters in Arms: British and American Women Pilots During World War II. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84415-388-6.
- Simbeck, Rob. Daughter of the Air: The Brief Soaring Life of Cornelia Fort. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. 1999. ISBN 978-1-56000-461-5.
- Strebe, Amy Goodpaster. Flying for her Country: The American and Soviet Women Military Pilots of World War II. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books. 2009. ISBN 978-1-59797-266-6.
- Williams, Vera S. WASPs: Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1994. ISBN 0-87938-856-0.
- The UNCG Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project: Air Force (incl WAF, WASP, Nurse Corps)
- Women in the U.S. Army
- USAF Museum: Women Pilots in World War II History – Air Force Museum virtual exhibit.
- WASP Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, March 10, 2010
- PBS American Experience: Fly Girls Website for the PBS documentary on the WASP.
- WASP on the WEB over 2,000 pages of WASP photos, games, videos, records and resources
- Texas Woman's University: Women Airforce Service Pilots Collection TWU maintains the official WASP archives and includes oral histories, photographs, and other archival collections on the WASP.
- Wings Across America; a WASP digital history project
- WASP in their Own Words, An Illustrated History of the WASP of WWII
- Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Remembered by those who knew them
- The National WASP World War II Museum
- Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II
- Blitzkrieg Baby – Information on World War II U.S. women's service organizations, including uniforms.
- Winged Auxiliaries: Women Pilots in the UK and US during World War Two – Draws comparisons between British ATA and American WASP pilots in World War II.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library's archives – information and documentation about the WASPs and Jacqueline Cochran.
- The account of the discovery of the site of a B-25 crash which killed a WASP pilot; some of her effects were found.
- The 1944 yearbook of the Sixth Ferrying Group of the U.S. Army Air Force, based out of Long Beach, California. Contained in this yearbook are photos of the men and women of this group, descriptions of their daily life, their responsibilities, commendations and achievements.
- Army-Navy Screen Magazine #16 WASP (1943) Government produced newsreel film