History of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP)
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The paper discusses the beginnings of women in the air force and explains that the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) under the direction of Jacqueline Cochran, and Nancy Love's Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), were officially merged and eventually became the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASPs) in 1943. The paper discusses how using more women to transport aircraft through the WFTD and WAFS would mean there would be no need to sacrifice mission-critical men. The paper describes these women's official duties, and highlights their ramshackle conditions and low pay and how they were dismissed in 1944 without any ceremony because they had never been granted military status as a unit. The paper discusses the lack of recognition for their service but relates that in July 2009, President Obama signed a bill awarding the WASPs the Congressional Gold Medal.
From the Paper:"Despite the stated non-military, supportive intention of the WASPs, drawing a hard and fast line between combatants and non-combatants proved difficult, especially in wartime. "Between 1942 and December, 20, 1944, the WASPs racked up more than 9,000,000 miles in the air, and had flown seventy seven different single and twin engine airplanes, including the famed B-17, P-51, and P-38" ("WASP," Women in WWII, 2010). When the program was first instituted, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry "Hap" Arnold, said that at first he couldn't believe that "a slip of a girl could fight the controls of a B-17 in heavy weather," but he eventually admitted that " that women can fly as well as men" (Stamberg 2010).
"Over 25,000 women applied to join the WASP program but only 1,074 women completed the training program. The WASPs were an elite unit. Despite their supposed non-military purpose, 37 WASPs were killed and 36 were injured during the years of their existence from 1942 to 1944 ("WASP," Women in WWII, 2010). Failures of aircrafts were not uncommon. The parachutes designed for the women were often too large for their smaller frames and women were injured as a result. Because WASPs were classified as civilians, the military did not pay for the women's funerals or pay for remains to be sent home (Stamberg 2010)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- "Establishment of the WASPs." The American Experience. PBS. May 11, 2010.http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/flygirls/peopleevents/pandeAMEX06.html
- "History of the WASP." Texas Women's University. May 11, 2001. http://www.twu.edu/library/wasp-history.asp
- Stamberg, Susan. "The original fly girls: Female World War II pilots." NPR.March 10, 2010. May 11, 2010.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123773525
- "WASP." Women in WWII. May 11, 2010. http://www.womeninwwii.com/USAAF/WASP.asp
- "WASP Facts." Texas Women's University. May 11, 2001. http://www.twu.edu/downloads/library/wasptextfacts.pdf
Cite this Term Paper:
History of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) (2013, February 06) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-the-women-air-force-service-pilots-wasp-152405/
"History of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP)" 06 February 2013. Web. 06 February. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-the-women-air-force-service-pilots-wasp-152405/>