Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines: The Unknown Heroines of World War II

Overview

From 1942 to 1944, almost two thousand women pilots left their civilian lives as students, movie stuntwomen, secretaries, blackjack dealers, teachers and wives with husbands overseas to converge on Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. There at the only all-female cadet air base in history they slopped into ill-fitting men's GI flying suits and marched into the "Army Way" of life. Six months later, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were sent out to fly every airplane in America's air arsenal, from the ...

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Overview

From 1942 to 1944, almost two thousand women pilots left their civilian lives as students, movie stuntwomen, secretaries, blackjack dealers, teachers and wives with husbands overseas to converge on Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. There at the only all-female cadet air base in history they slopped into ill-fitting men's GI flying suits and marched into the "Army Way" of life. Six months later, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were sent out to fly every airplane in America's air arsenal, from the colossal B-29 Superfortress to the lightning-fast P-51 Mustang fighter.

These unsung heroines flew some of the World War II's most harrowing — and surprising — missions, many which men refused to perform. "If there was a doubt in anyone's mind that women can become skillful pilots," said the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces, "the WASPs have dispelled that doubt." But not before they were forced to fight for advanced training and assignments in bigger airplanes, subjected to unnecessary physicals, even jailed, for being what they were — the most adventurous women of the war era, who knew what they wanted and went for it.

Over seventy of these air heroines were killed or injured, flying for their country.

Sally Keil tells the romantic story of America's entry into the Air Age. She recreates the era of barnstormers, biplanes and record-breaking air-races, when our century was just awakening to the awesome potential of the airplane and America's new role as a world power.

It was an era widely exuberant in its idolization of the heroes and heroines of the air — Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline Cochran, and others whose stories are told here. Certain young women with vision determined to be part of it all. These women became the WASP.

The book also gives a splendid history of World War II, the greatest mobilization of capabilities America has ever known — and the world's first air war, fought with the aid of these special women, who, along with their brothers, emerged from small-town obscurity to become the pilot elite of the war.

Inspiring, startling, at times hilarious and deeply moving, the WASP story, finally told after the decades, belongs to today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962765902
  • Publisher: Four Directions Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.52 (d)

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