National Museum of the Mighty Eighth paying special tribute to Women Airforce Service Pilots

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 5:27 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - These women changed aviation in that they earned so much respect by the other pilots, by the men.

It’s a program that only lasted 16 months but made a huge impact when it came to preparing planes to fly in combat zones in World War II.

Numbers from the US Army show just over a thousand women completed the training after 18,000 were selected from over 25,000 applicants.

The Army says those 1,074 women ferried planes across the US, ran check flights, and even taught their male counterparts a thing or two about flying along the way.

“All the male pilots are grumbling about how difficult it is, and so this B-29 takes off lands again and these two women, smaller, shorter women get off the plane and the men all went opens mouth.”

The WASPs were disbanded on December 20, 1944 about 6 months after Congress voted against a bill that would have made them a women’s service in the Air Force.

A service that would go unrecognized for more than three decades.

“The thing most people don’t realize is that they are not actually in the military. They are not given any military benefits. The 38 women who...WASPs...who were killed during the war are not even, they’re families aren’t even given money to ship them home for burial, and so, it’s not until 1977 that they’re actually given veteran status, so many, many years after the war are they finally given the respect they are due,” Heather Thies said.