Flying Higher: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

Overview

The year was 1943 and a global war was raging. In the U.S., all male military pilots were needed for combat duty, which left critical piloting jobs vacant across the land. Who would deliver the newly manufactured planes to their domestic bases? Who would help train cadet pilots and tow targets for gunnery practice, test new planes, and retest old ones? The answer was: the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

Civilians all, they earned their military wings and undertook ...

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Overview

The year was 1943 and a global war was raging. In the U.S., all male military pilots were needed for combat duty, which left critical piloting jobs vacant across the land. Who would deliver the newly manufactured planes to their domestic bases? Who would help train cadet pilots and tow targets for gunnery practice, test new planes, and retest old ones? The answer was: the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

Civilians all, they earned their military wings and undertook hazardous, sometimes deadly, flight assignments. These elite aviators were organized by powerhouse air legend Jackie Cochran, who fought all the way up to the top brass for them. Facing prejudice and discrimination, the WASPs were determined to do their duty for their country.

These young women loved their work and leapt at the chance to fly an array of aircraft: trainers, cargo, and fighter planes -- even the B-29 and B-36 bombers that scared off many men! They were an intrepid group of crack pilots whose service was essential at the time but was soon forgotten by the military.

Adventurous in play as well as in work, the WASPs got into, and out of, some hair-raising episodes. The action is seen through the life of Marie Michell, a nineteen-year-old WASP, whose death in a crash underscores the dangers these women faced on a daily basis while serving their country. Wanda Langley has conducted extensive interviews with former WASPs and has the insider's details of their adventures, as well as their training and service.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The author grew up near the airfield in Sweetwater, Texas and used stories that she heard to develop this informative book. The war in 1943 created a need for pilots, and the answer came from recruiting and training Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Despite prejudice and discrimination, the air legend, Jackie Cochran, organized and promoted them. The women pilots were determined and dedicated in the sometimes hazardous and deadly flight assignments. They flew many aircrafts that some men did not want to fly. Interesting tidbits of information are included; some material comes from interviews of these pilots by the author, personal information and insiders' details. This book is a recommended nonfiction inclusion due to the lack of material on the subject. It may have a select group of interested readers, but it is worth the investment. 2002, Linnet Books,
— Naomi Butler
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Although they didn't see combat in World War II, the Women Airforce Service Pilots belong to an interesting and important chapter in the history of women in the military and in aviation. Led, organized, and inspired by strong, resourceful individuals like Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love, the WASPs trained hard, worked hard, and did it all with style. Flying Higher chronicles the formation of their training program, and follows one class of trainees. It includes lots of detail about the aircraft and the women, especially the challenges that they faced with bravery and humor. This is a riveting and highly readable history in which Langley balances technical information and personal stories, making for a satisfying narrative. The story of the WASPs is subtly placed into the context of America's involvement in World War II, and the role of women at the time. Black-and-white archival photographs and pertinent quotes appear throughout. Amy Nathan's Yankee Doodle Gals (National Geographic, 2001) takes a slightly different point of view and has terrific photographs. Overall, Flying Higher is a good choice for reports and personal-interest reading.-Laura Reed, Pickering Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780208025067
  • Publisher: Shoe String Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Pages: 156
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
1 On Solid Ground 1
2 Ready to Fly 8
3 The Blond Bombshell 15
4 Fighting for the Right to Fly 24
5 Up in the Air 29
6 Bucket of Bolts and the Hood 38
7 Crossing the Country 46
8 Silver Wings and Santiago Blue 53
9 Careful Where You Aim, Sir 63
10 You Call This Plane Fixed? 71
11 We Can Fly Anything in This Man's Army 79
12 Other Planes, Other Places 89
13 Flying Higher 99
Epilogue 107
Appendixes 115
Notes 121
Glossary 123
Bibliography 125
Index 129
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