Thursday, July 17, 2014

Women of the Wild Blue Yonder: Women Airforce Service Pilots

During WWII, the United States was facing a shortage of pilots. Military and government leaders decided to take an unprecedented step to train women to fly military aircraft. These women, all volunteers, were the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. Over a thousand women made up the WASP program; they ferried and tested new planes, assisted with air gunner training, and became heroes to generations of women and girls. Though the women did not receive military status until the 1970s, they have served as a significant part of our nation’s military history, in addition to being pioneers for women’s rights. The stories generated by these women, both fictional and real, are worth delving into for a better understanding of United States Airforce history.
Fiction
Flight to Destiny: a WASP story by Sarah Byrn Rickman
Flight from Fear by Sarah Byrn Rickman
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith (Young Adult Fiction)
Nonfiction
On Silver Wings: the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, 1942-1944 by Marianne Verges; foreword by Senator Barry Goldwater
Yankee Doodle Gals: women pilots of World War II by Amy Nathan (Juvenile Nonfiction)

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