On Silver Wings: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, 1942-1944

On Silver Wings: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, 1942-1944

by Marianne Verges
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

They were heroic women who came from every corner of the nation and every walk of life: debutantes, teachers, businesswomen, housewives, daughters of farmers, and factory workers. Almost two thousand of them were accepted into the rigorous Army Air Force flight training program and received their wings--flying with the desert sand in their eyes, with ice on their

Overview

They were heroic women who came from every corner of the nation and every walk of life: debutantes, teachers, businesswomen, housewives, daughters of farmers, and factory workers. Almost two thousand of them were accepted into the rigorous Army Air Force flight training program and received their wings--flying with the desert sand in their eyes, with ice on their wings, serving side by side with men flyers. Yet for all their daring and commitment, the WASPs still had to battle red tape, jealous insinuations, and political pressure. Still, they flew on, often outclassing their male counterparts in efficiency, reliability, and physical stamina. Their story rings with all the courage, romance, and adventure of the lives these extraordinary women lived.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The almost-buried history of female pilots in WW II is carefully unearthed in this account of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the organizations that preceded it. Freelance journalist Verges, wife of an airline executive, is candid about how women began making their contributions in the air: the chief impetus was provided by famed pilot Jacqueline Cochran, married to a millionaire tycoon who provided strong financial support to Franklin Roosevelt; almost all other early women pilots were from wealthy families, since flying was at first a hobby only for the rich. This profile changed by the early 1940s, when almost 2000 women had earned their wings and become indispensable to the war effort, ferrying planes around the country. They were fortunate in having the support of Air Force boss Gen. Hap Arnold and some young officers, but many mid-ranking members of the brass were petty and even vicious toward the women. The WASP was disbanded in late 1944 and the personnel were denied military rank; this they were finally awarded in 1973. An inspiring tale of a winning fight against prejudice. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
During World War II, two competing efforts were begun to organize a unit of women pilots to do noncombat flying for the military. When the Army Air Force finally accepted the system devised by racing pilot Jacqueline Cochrane, the other group joined it to train and dispatch pilots for test and ferry assignments all over the United States. Sadly, Congress did not pass the Costello Bill to absorb this corps, called the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) into the military (meaning commissions and other benefits of service), and Cochrane abruptly disbanded the force of over 1000. In their short service they delivered every military aircraft in the inventory, flew 60 million miles, and lost 38 of their number to flying accidents. An exhaustive and often poignant history of this little-known contribution to the war effort. Recommended for both aviation and women's studies collections. For more on World War II, see the Pearl Harbor roundup in this issue, p. 206.--Ed.-- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345365347
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/15/1991
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
272

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >