Women Pilots of World War II

Women Pilots of World War II

by Wendy Cole
     
 

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Jean Hascall Cole’s interviews with her fellow classmates documents their valuable contribution to the history of women, aviation, and the military. Women Pilots of World War II presents a rare look at the personal experiences of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) by recording the adventures of one of eighteen classes of women to graduate from

Overview

Jean Hascall Cole’s interviews with her fellow classmates documents their valuable contribution to the history of women, aviation, and the military. Women Pilots of World War II presents a rare look at the personal experiences of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) by recording the adventures of one of eighteen classes of women to graduate from the Army Air Forces flight training school during World War II. This unique oral history verifies and shines a long-overdue spotlight on the flying accomplishments of these remarkable women.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Absorbing, well written, and a pleasure to read."—Library Journal

"[A] celebration of vitality and courage."—The Women's Review of Books

"Clearly written and a pleasure to read.... Cole maintains a historical context while relating the stories of these courageous pilots."—Military Review

“By detailing the background of each woman, telling who she was, how she came to aviation and to the WASPs, Cole has provided a valuable portrait of a unique historic group. A pleasure to read.”—South Dakota History

“Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, Jean [Cole]’s book combines many bits and pieces into a lovely pattern alike with vibrant colors.”—WASP News

“Enriched by many humorous anecdotes. The book captures the overwhelming energy and dedication of these women who were truly pioneers of their time.”—Texas Books in Review

“A contribution to both women’s history and to that of the West, not to mention also to aviation history.”—The Western Library

“Oral histories are only as good as the characters they deal with, and Cole has tapped a gold mine. Histories of the best sort, the kind that demonstrate that history is not simply a study of how the famous accomplish remarkable deeds, but of how people do what is required of them in remarkable ways.”—Castro Valley Forum

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) during WW II and retired editor of Research News published by Arizona State University, Cole here covers much the same territory as did Marianne Verges in On Silver Wings (Nonfiction Forecasts, Oct. 4). This oral history, however, focuses on just one of the 18 graduating classes of the program, group 44-W-2, which completed its training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Tex., in March 1944. Interviews with 35 members of the group reveal their sense of pride and determination to succeed (less than half of the candidates got their wings) and their work ferrying planes, towing targets for gunnery practice and serving as flight instructors or test pilots to prove that they could handle every aircraft. The postwar disregard of the service rendered by these women is depressing to read about, but a bright spot in this interesting, instructive book is the official recognition granted them, albeit belatedly, as valued WW II military personnel in 1979. Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal
For 50 years, the story of the WASPs has remained untold. Now three books have suddenly appeared (see also Byrd Granger's On Final Approach , LJ 8/91; and Marion Verges's On Silver Wings , LJ 9/1/91). To recap: at the beginning of World War II, the U.S. Air Force was desperately short of trained pilots, and a pool of experienced women pilots existed. After much debate, 1,074 women were recruited and trained. They flew 60 million miles, worked as ferry pilots, instructors, test pilots, target pilots, and so on. Due to the objections of their male colleagues, they were never commissioned as officers in the USAF. Cole interviews the surviving members of class 44-W-2 and follows them through training at Avenger Field, Texas, and their subsequent Air Force and civilian careers. This gives the book a personal focus not found in Granger's or Verges's. It is absorbing, well written, and a pleasure to read. However, Cole's work relates the history of a single class while Verges's book provides a more complete history.-- Stanley Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Booknews
Collected by one of the 49 members of class 44-W-2 (one of 18 classes of women to graduate from the Army Air Forces flight training school during WWII) Cole's interviews with her former classmates document their contribution to the history of women, aviation, and the military. With 32 pages of photographs and a foreword by Dora Dougherty Strother. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874804935
Publisher:
University of Utah Press
Publication date:
03/28/1992
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
188
Sales rank:
1,069,021
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Jean Hascall Cole, until her retirement in 1979, was editor for Research News in the Graduate College at Arizona State University.  She has a B.A. and M.A. in English from Arizona State University and is a member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots.

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