Any women serving in the Air Force today, particularly aviators, owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs). WASPs gave women with a love of flying a chance to serve their country during WWII. They helped train male pilots and ferried aircraft across the country. Only about 1,100 women made it through the program and earned their wings, and 38 lost their lives serving.
However, once the war ended, the program was disbanded, the women sent home, not even recognized as veterans. The WASPs worked together and finally received the recognition they deserved on November 23rd, 1977, in a law signed by President Jimmy Carter. Fun fact: Hap Arnold's son was one of their advocates.
You can hear all about these incredible pioneers in a FREE virtual book talk sponsored by the National Museum of the United States Army. Author Katherine Sharp Landdeck will be discussing her new book, The Women With Silver Wings, March 18, at 7pm EDT. Professor Landdeck is a writer, Associate Professor at Texas Woman’s University, and globally recognized expert on the Women Air Force Service Pilots of World War II. I have heard her speak before and I know it will be a great event.