Women Airforce Service Pilots: The Flygirls of WWII
This is a story that went untold for too long. Until recently, the world knew little about the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII. These women served their country without asking for anything in return. And now they are finally receiving the credit and honor that they deserve. THe WASP were the first female pilots to ever fly active US military aircraft. Though these women were not enlisted active military personnel, they were in fact designated as civillian volunteers. From ferrying bombers to flying fighters for target practice, these patriotic women helped forge the way of the future for women pilots in the armed forced. Read their incredible story, written by a WASP history expert in issue 21 of PilotMag. The Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum honor the WASP at their Annual Spreading Wings Gala this year. To learn more about the Wings Gala, click here.
arly in October, a World War II air-to-air B-26 tow-target pilot cut a symbolic ribbon at Wings Over the Rockies Aviation and Space Museum in Denver, Colorado. Just beyond the ribbon, high above the polished floor, overlooking the beautiful planes stretched wingtip to wingtip across the pristine hangar, is a tribute to an unsung group of heroes: the Women Airforce Service Pilots – for many years considered ‘the best kept secret of World War II.’ On that special day, when WASP Deanie Parrish cut the ribbon for the FLYGIRLS OF WWII exhibit, the secret was out at Wings Over the Rockies.
For sixteen years, it has been my honor to partner with this WASP, who served her country during WWII by towing a sleeve target behind her B-26 Martin Marauder as ‘green gunners’ in B-24s ‘practiced’ firing live ammunition at the target. This fearless, spunky lady pilot has always believed With God’s help, nothing is impossible. I agree, and once my mother the WASP joined me on my mission to share the little-known history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots with America, we never looked back …
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