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Women pilots of WWII


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#1 Nonny


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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:18 PM


I'm a charter member of the National WASP WWII Museum, honoring the women pilots, WASP and others, of WWII.  I have only made it to the annual Fly In once, hope to attend again this year.  Though I served in the Air Force myself, the first I heard of women pilots flying military aircraft was many years later, at a women veterans event.  There I met several of the most independent women, strong and proud, I have ever met.  I heard about their accomplishments, and only later of the harsh treatment they received, and how long it took to receive the veteran status they would have received if they hadn't been denied the military status they had been promised.

The video shows the WASP, most now in their 90s, who were honored at the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day.  I was happy to see them, but what brought me to shed happy tears was the young women who marched alongside their float.  Women military pilots, serving now.  When I was a WAF, not only did I not know about the women pilots of WWII, but I knew an officer who was pushing the age limit as the fight to open flight school to women officers was grinding slowly on.  She didn't make it, but those of us who fight for rights do know that, whether we achieve them for ourselves or not, we're doing it for those who come after.
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#2 offworlder


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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:40 PM

years ago I read about these lady pilots with real wings pinned on the blouse, who would ferry the combat planes over, like the B24s and stuff , over to the theatre, like through Ireland over to UK; fighters were often ferried on ships but the bombers were usually flown over by these Service ladies; only difference with them, they didn't fly them in combat- they would fly non combat so the war pilots could be in the combat squadrons; they were losing a frightful number of the bomber pilots so they needed all they could get, so the ladies instead of men did the ferry flights.(and ferried fighters from delivery port, the ship, to the fighter squadrons, like she said, the desert)

here's Lorraine Rodgers,

' The 21-year-old Rodgers was quick to sign up and stood on her tiptoes in order to meet the height requirements.

She trained from sunup to sundown, seven days a week at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, to become part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots program -- "WASP" for short. She later moved to what would become her permanent base, Love Field outside Dallas, ferrying military planes all across the country for two years.

"We would go to the plants or factories or the bases and pick up certain planes and deliver them where they were supposed to go," she said.
It was often dirty work. "We were oily and covered with sand from flying over the desert. Far from glamorous."

On New Year's Day, these pioneering pilots will be celebrated with a float in the 125th Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., part of an effort to bring attention to an often overlooked part of American history.

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt was an early supporter of the program, writing in a September 1942 newspaper column: "This is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used."
By 1943, 25,000 women had applied to join the WASP program.
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